Library Featuring African American Authors


Again the library’s collection surprises me. I had thought that it would be appropriate to have a February display of African American Authors to commemorate African American History Month. I thought I would find a dozen or so books that I could place on the display shelf of the library. Students would notice the books ( I hope!) on their right as they enter the library. The featured books each month share the same shelving unit as our new arrivals.
When I did a keyword search in our online catalog of “African American Authors”, up came over 2000 items. Granted a number of the entries were for ebooks but there were still way too many items for one display. I decided to try to whittle it down by looking in our 3 volume reference set, Notable African American Writers. The first entry is for the poet, Maya Angelou. Additional entries continue through the alphabet to novelist and poet, Al Young. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of Al Young but there were so many others I had heard of and whose works we own. There was James Baldwin ( Go Tell it on the Mountain); Ralph Ellison ( Invisible Man); Zora Neale Hurston ( Their Eyes were Watching God); and Langston Hughes (Fight for Freedom and other writings on civil rights), among others. As I studied the reference book of Notable African American Writers, I realized that I knew a poet that wasn’t included, at least not yet! The library owns a copy of Talking “White” by our own Maria James- Thiaw. Please stop by the library in February and discover African American authors and their works. It wasn’t easy selecting so few books out of so many possibilities. So many books, so little time!

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