By Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates Jr. (editors). In The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Hollis Robbins have assembled an incisive collection of pieces by over 50 women, spanning nearly a century and highlighting the importance of varied narratives in connecting the past to the present. From slave testimony to satire, romance novels to cultural commentary, these pieces form a complex and compelling whole. This isn't a book seeking tidy answers about the "right" ambitions. It's a rewarding history and a reminder that the past is never a single story. Penguin Classics (2017), English, 656 pages.
Comprises work from forty-nine writers arranged into sections of memoir, poetry, and essays on feminism, education, and the legacy of African American women writers. Many engage with social movements like abolition, suffrage, temperance, and civil rights, but the thematic center is the intellect and personal ambition of African American women. From Sojourner Truth, Hannah Crafts, and Harriet Jacobs, and many more. Taken together, these incredible works insist that the writing of African American women writers be read, remembered, and addressed.