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Letters from Black America: Intimate Portraits of the African American Experience

by

Letters from Black America: Intimate Portraits of the African American Experience Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first-ever narrative history of African Americans told through their own letters

 

Letters from Black America fills a literary and historical void by presenting the spectrum of African American experience in the most intimate way possible—through the heartfelt correspondence of those who lived through monumental changes and pivotal events, from the American Revolution to the war in Iraq, from slavery to the election of Obama.

About the Author

Pamela Newkirk is the editor of A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters and the author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media. An award-winning journalist and professor of journalism at New York University, she lives in New York City.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

A Note on the Text xxi

 

PART I : Family

 

Hannah Grover to Her Son Cato, June 3, 1805

George Pleasant to Agnes Hobbs, September 6, 1833

Lucy Smith to Sarah Boon, May 1, 1842

Abream Scriven to Dinah Jones, September 19, 1858

James Tate to His Wife, February 4, 1863

Ann Valentine to Andrew Valentine, January 19, 1864

Mandy McCinny to George McCinny, May 11, 1864

Susanah Hart to Mark Hart, February 23, 1865

Martha Bruce to John Edward Bruce, September 23, 1887

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Matilda Dunbar, June 6, 1893

Matilda Dunbar to Paul Laurence Dunbar, June 8, 1895

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Matilda Dunbar, November 25, 1897

Matilda Dunbar to Paul Laurence Dunbar, July 5, 1901

Mary Church Terrell to Robert H. Terrell, July 9, 1902

Robert H. Terrell to Mary Church Terrell, Undated

Robert H. Terrell to Mary Church Terrell, December 30, 1913

W.E.B. Du Bois to Yolande Du Bois, March 13, 1907

W.E.B. Du Bois to Yolande Du Bois, October 29, 1914

Dr. William R. R. Granger, Sr., to Son, October 8, 1911

Dr. William R. R. Granger, Sr., to W.R.R. Granger, Jr., September 30, 1914

Dr. A. T. Granger to Dr. W.R.R. Granger, Jr., August 5, 1917

Lester B. Granger to Dr. W.R.R. Granger, Jr., July 15, 1930

Lester B. Granger to Dr. W.R.R. Granger, Jr., February 23, 1932

Madam C. J. Walker to A’Lelia Walker, May 16, 1919

Grace Nail Johnson to James Weldon Johnson, June 19, 1929

Leigh Whipper to Dr. Ionia Whipper, September 8, 1930

Robert Murphy to Matilda Dunbar, October 30, 1933

Ralph Ellison to Ida Millsap Ellison, April 20, 1937

Ralph Ellison to Ida Millsap Ellison, August 30, 1937

The Watson Children to Justice James S. Watson, Undated, 1937

James L. Watson to Justice James S. Watson, May 16, 1943

Doug Watson to Justice James S. Watson, September 29, 1947

Martin Luther King, Jr., to Martin Luther King, Sr., June 15, 1944

Julia Davis Rustin to Bayard Rustin, April 15, 1946

Martin Luther King, Jr., to Alberta King, October 1948

Edith Braithwaite to William Stanley Braithwaite, December 27, 1954

William Stanley Braithwaite to Edith Braithwaite, September 27, 1956

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., to Hazel Scott Powell, October 11, 1957

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Coretta Scott King, October 26, 1960

Medgar Evers to Myrlie Evers and Children, November 27, 1962

Urnestine Lewis to David Levering Lewis, September 7, 1963

Derrick Bell, Jr., to Derrick Bell, Sr., July 26, 1967

Joseph F. Beam to Mom and Dad, May 29, 1976

Walter J. Leonard to Angela Leonard, April 16, 1991

Walter J. Leonard to Mamie K. Singleton, November 10, 1992

Queen Esther Gupton Cheatham Jones to Renée Cheatham Neblett, March 1993

Queen Esther Gupton Cheatham Jones to Renée Cheatham Neblett, Undated, circa 1996

Thomas Allen Harris to Lyle Ashton Harris, Undated, 1998

Michael Leon Thomas to Mom and Dad, October 12, 2000

Walter J. Leonard to Angela M. Leonard, May 12, 2005

 

PART II : Courtship and Romance

 

Nicey E. Bush to Harvey Moore, September 14, 1869

Harvey Moore to Nicey E. Bush, October 26, 1869

Harvey Moore to Nicey E. Bush, December 20, 1869

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Alice Ruth Moore, March 7, 1897

Roscoe Conkling Bruce to Clara Burrill, January 3, 1903

Clara Burrill to Roscoe Conkling Bruce, Undated, 1903

Roscoe Conkling Bruce to Clara Burrill, January 31, 1903

Roscoe Conkling Bruce to Clara Burrill, February 19, [1903]

Dr. James Arthur Kennedy to A’Lelia Walker, December 8, 1921

Dr. Henry Arthur Callis to Myra Colson, December 24, 1925

Dr. Henry Arthur Callis to Myra Colson, January 7, 1926

Robert Keyes to Hattie Haynes, April 15, 1928

Fredi Washington to Lawrence Brown, June 22, 1932

Lawrence Brown to Fredi Washington, Undated

Fredi Washington to Lawrence Brown, September 29, 1934

Charles Drew to Minnie Lenore Robbins, April 9, 1939

Charles Drew to Minnie Lenore Robbins, 1939

Charles Drew to Minnie Lenore Robbins, April 21, 1939

Martin Luther King, Jr., to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Coretta Scott King, February 14, 1957

Booker T. Washington III to Joyce Dodson Washington, February 4, 1968

Walter D. Broadnax to Angel Wheelock Marshall, March 28, 1984

Francesca Momplaisir to Nnabu Gogoh, May 8, 1999

Nnabu Gogoh to Francesca Momplaisir, June 10, 2000

Nnabu Gogoh to Francesca Momplaisir, September 28, 2000

 

PART III : Politics and Social Justice

 

Phillis Wheatley to Rev. Samson Occom, February 11, 1774

Benjamin Banneker to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, August 19, 1791

Frederick Douglass to Captain Thomas Auld, September 3, 1848

Fugitive Slaves to Enslaved Brethren, November 5, 1850

Annie Davis to President Abraham Lincoln, August 25, 1864

Sojourner Truth to Rowland Johnson, November 17, 1864

Frederick Douglass to Readers, June 13, 1872

Whitefield McKinlay to Booker T. Washington, November 1, 1901

Booker T. Washington to Whitefield McKinlay, November 6, 1901

Booker T. Washington to Whitefield McKinlay, February 18, 1902

Ida B. Wells-Barnett to Anti-Lynching Bureau, January 1, 1902

Robert Smalls to Whitefield McKinlay, November 10, 1909

Robert Smalls to Whitefield McKinlay, September 12, 1912

W.E.B. Du Bois to President Woodrow Wilson, October 10, 1916

James Weldon Johnson to President Warren G. Harding, September 19, 1921

Arthur A. Schomburg to Wendell Dabney, December 12, 1933

Roy Wilkins to Eleanor Roosevelt, Undated, 1934

Walter White to Thurgood Marshall, March 1, 1935

Claude McKay to James Weldon Johnson, May 8, 1935

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., to Eleanor Roosevelt, November 5, 1956

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., to U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, November 5, 1957

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to President John F. Kennedy, September 11, 1962

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to White Clergymen, April 16, 1963

James Baldwin to His Nephew James, 1963

Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., January 27, 1964

Shirley Du Bois to Langston Hughes, March 7, 1965

Jean Fairfax to Minnie and A. J. Lewis, July 23, 1965

U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke III to President Richard M. Nixon, March 27, 1969

U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke III to Secretary of State William P. Rogers, May 27, 1969

Bayard Rustin to Eldridge Cleaver, January 24, 1977

Bayard Rustin to Mayor Edward I. Koch, February 25, 1985

Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., to Jodi Kantor, March 2007

Toni Morrison to U.S. Senator Barack Obama, January 28, 2008

AliceWalker to President-Elect Barack Obama, November 5, 2008

 

PART IV: Education and the Art of Scholarship

 

Booker T. Washington to Emily Howland, Undated

W.E.B. Du Bois to Harvard University, October 29, 1887

W.E.B. Du Bois to the John F. Slater Fund, March 10, 1893

Booker T. Washington to W.E.B. Du Bois, July 15, 1902

W.E.B. Du Bois to Vernealia Fereira, December 14, 1904

John Hope to W.E.B. Du Bois, January 17, 1910

W.E.B. Du Bois to John Hope, January 22, 1910

Alice Dunbar to John Edward Bruce, March 23, 1914

James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey to Sadie Peterson Delaney, March 14, 1924

John Hope to W.E.B. Du Bois, November 15, 1924

W.E.B. Du Bois to John Hope, March 25, 1925

W.E.B. Du Bois to Bureau of Education Commissioner William John Cooper, December 18, 1929

Carter G. Woodson to John Hope, December 24, 1931

Alain Locke to James Weldon Johnson, March 7, 1934

Countee Cullen to James Weldon Johnson, June 7, 1934

Shirley Graham to W.E.B. Du Bois, June 23, 1934

Sterling A. Brown to W.E.B. Du Bois, January 29, 1935

Horace Mann Bond to Arthur A. Schomburg, September 19, 1936

Arthur A. Schomburg to Jacob Drachler, January 10, 1938

Kenneth B. Clark to Mr. Swift, September 17, 1940

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., to Rev. Hugh Burr,

March 16, 1956

Jean Fairfax to U.S. Education Commissioner Francis Keppel,

March 6, 1967

Derrick Bell, Jr., to Office for Civil Rights Staff,

August 15, 1967

U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke III to President Richard M. Nixon,

June 25, 1969

Derrick Bell, Jr., to Justice Thurgood Marshall, October 2, 1969

Justice Thurgood Marshall to Derrick Bell, Jr., October 1969

Kenneth B. Clark to The New York Times, August 7, 1979

Derrick Bell, Jr., to Dean Robert Clark, April 9, 1990

Walter J. Leonard to Angela M. Leonard, July 28, 1997

Walter J. Leonard to Angela M. Leonard, November 6, 2002

Rev. Bernard Chris Dorsey to Walter Broadnax, April 17, 2007

Dr. Frank L. Douglas to Claude Canizares, MIT Vice President for Research, June 1, 2007

Dr. Frank L. Douglas to His MIT Colleagues and Friends, June 1, 2007

 

PART V: War

 

John Boston to His Wife, January 12, 1862

Lewis Douglass to Amelia Loguen, July 20, 1863

James Henry Gooding to President Abraham Lincoln, September 28, 1863

Nancy Allcorn to Missouri Provost Marshall, May 16, 1864

George Rodgers et al. to President Abraham Lincoln, August 1864 •

Roanoke Island, North Carolina, Freedmen to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, March 9, 1865

M. W. Saddler to The Freeman Newspaper, September 1899

Patrick Mason to Editor of The Gazette Newspaper, November 19, 1899

Unnamed Soldier to New York Age Editor, May 17, 1900

James A. Davis to Pecola Johnson Davis, October 1, 1918

Canute Frankson to a Dear Friend, July 6, 1937

Canute Frankson to “My Dear,” July 23, 1937

Canute Frankson to “Dearest,” April 13, 1938

Leigh Whipper to Benjamin O. Davis, January 28, 1941

Mr. and Mrs. James S. Watson to Private James L. Watson, January 23, 1943

Lenwood Waller to Pauline Perry, May 7, 1945

Bayard Rustin to Local Board No. 63, New York City, November 16, 1943

A. Philip Randolph to Bayard Rustin, April 17, 1944

A. Philip Randolph to Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall, October 30, 1950

Lester B. Granger to Navy Secretary Dan A. Kimball, October 24, 1952

U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke III to President Richard M. Nixon, October 23, 1969

U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke III to President Richard M. Nixon, May 11, 1970

Gen. Colin L. Powell to the Students of East Pike Elementary School, August 22, 1991

Gen. Colin L. Powell to Friends of Sgt. Maj. William Harrington, March 26, 1994

Capt. Eric Mitchell to Friends and Family, 2003

Maj. David Scott Harris to Lois D. Cherry, March 23, 2003

Lois D. Cherry to Maj. David Scott Harris, March 23, 2003

Maj. David Scott Harris to Lois D. Cherry, April 3, 2003

Commanding Officer Craig S. Prather, PE, MBA, to My Dalton Family, December 25, 2006

 

PART VI : Art and Culture

 

Phillis Wheatley to Gen. George Washington, October 26, 1775

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Alice Ruth Moore, April 17, 1895

Alice Ruth Moore to Paul Laurence Dunbar, May 7, 1895

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Booker T. Washington, January 23, 1902

Claude A. Barnett to Jean Toomer, April 23, 1923

Jean Toomer to Claude A. Barnett, April 29, 1923

Countee Cullen to Langston Hughes, May 14, 1924

Countee Cullen to Langston Hughes, October 8, 1924

W.E.B. Du Bois to Roland Hayes, November 30, 1925

Roland Hayes to W.E.B. Du Bois, December 16, 1925

Alain Locke to A’Lelia Walker, October 12, 1928

Zora Neale Hurston to Langston Hughes, December 10, 1929

Jean Toomer to James Weldon Johnson, July 11, 1930

James Weldon Johnson to Jean Toomer, July 26, 1930

Langston Hughes to James Weldon Johnson, August 14, 1931

Zora Neale Hurston to James Weldon Johnson, April 16, 1934

Zora Neale Hurston to Dorothy West, Undated

Claude McKay to James Weldon Johnson, May 31, 1935

Ralph Ellison to Langston Hughes, August 24, 1936

Claude McKay to James Weldon Johnson, April 2, 1937

Ralph Ellison to Langston Hughes, April 27, 1937

Arthur A. Schomburg to Langston Hughes, January 3, 1938

Arthur A. Schomburg to Caterina Jarboro, March 21, 1938

Richard Wright to Antonio Frasconi, November 1944

Richard Wright to David L. Cohn, The Atlantic Monthly, May 1945

Langston Hughes to John Johnson, October 14, 1945

Ralph Ellison to Langston Hughes, August 25, 1947

Ralph Ellison to Kenneth Burke, August 25, 1947

Fredi Washington to Darr Smith, August 2, 1949

James Hubert “Eubie” Blake to Flournoy E. Miller, October 30, 1949

Bobby Short to Fredi Washington, May 18, 1952

Langston Hughes to Arna Bontemps, February 18, 1953

Arna Bontemps to Langston Hughes, March 4, 1953

Ralph Ellison to Mrs. Turner, March 31, 1953

James Hubert “Eubie” Blake to Flournoy E. Miller, October 9, 1954

Josephine Baker to Langston Hughes, December 23, 1964

Alice Walker to Derrick Bell, Jr., May 20, 1986

William T. Williams to David C. Driskell, October 5, 1988

Howardena Pindell to Charles Reeve, editor of Art Papers, May 30, 2002

 

PART VII : Across the Diaspora

 

Mack Nichols et al. to Rev. Alexander Crummel, October 4, 1865

George T. Downing to Alexander Crummel, May 18, 1897

Alexander Crummel to John W. Cromwell, June 15, 1897

John R. Archer to John Edward Bruce, January 17, 1914

James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey to Arthur A. Schomburg, May 28, 1918

James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey to John Edward Bruce, June 28, 1922

J. E. Casely Hayford to John Edward Bruce, November 24, 1923

W.E.B. Du Bois to Liberian President Honorable Charles Dunbar Burgess King, January 21, 1924

Marcus Garvey to Negroes of the World, February 10, 1925

W.E.B. Du Bois to Harvey S. Firestone, October 26, 1925

Louis-Marie Dantès Bellegarde to Arthur A. Schomburg, March 11, 1932

Arthur A. Schomburg to Louis-Marie Dantès Bellegarde, May 3, 1934

Marcus Garvey to Norton Cruickshank, June 10, 1937

Fredi Washington to Ademola Johnson, September 23, 1949

WilliamAlphaeus Hunton, Jr., to Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, May 4, 1962

Charles Adjei to Lois Okudzeto, June 2003

 

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807001158
Author:
Newkirk, Pamela
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Subject:
Letters
Subject:
African American Studies-Black Heritage
Subject:
Anthologies-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.98 x 6 x 1 in 1.34 lb

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