421 Years of Black Women Using Their Words
This book list is derived from the African American Women Using Our Words Timeline I developed for I AM WOMAN: Expressions of Black Womanhood in America. As with most creative projects, I had no idea where the timeline would lead.
This is by no means a full list of creative works or published/recorded documents by Black Women in America. More accurately, it’s a highlight reel of some of the historical works in the public domain. Some of the women were/are prolific writers and have multiple publications which are not listed within my timeline.
Begin With A Seed
The I AM WOMAN Project began with the idea that resistance and speaking up for ourselves are not a new concepts for Black Women. Lo and behold, a bit of digging reveals Black Women have been speaking, shouting, fighting, and resisting being controlled and abused since before our words were written down.
Discover a Forest
The Timeline in I AM WOMAN: Expressions of Black Womanhood in America includes 421 years of documented words by African descended Women in the United States of America proclaiming who they are and telling their stories in their own words. The Book List spans 421 years of Black Women in America advocating for themselves, their families, their communities and their people while exhibiting an impressive breadth of accomplishments throughout the centuries.
Black Women in America have a long and truly empowering history. Our truth cannot be hidden forever. Neither will freedom elude us forever. We are our most loyal encouragers. We are our own best defenders. Black Women have always been their own most worthy heroes.
Everything before 1924 is public domain and can be downloaded for free. May the readings liberate your mind, heart and soul. May your vision and understanding be infinitely expanded. Asè.
Book List, 1600-2021
|1600||Isabel de Olvera||Affidavit|
|1746||Lucy Terry Prince||Bars Fight, August 28, 1746|
|1773||Phillis Wheatley||Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral|
|1849||Jarena Lee||Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee|
|1854||Francis Ellen Watkins Harper||Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects|
|1850||Sojourner Truth||The Narrative of Sojourner Truth|
|1859||Harriet Wilson||Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North|
|1861||Harriet Jacobs (aka Linda Brent)||Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl|
|1863||Old Elizabeth||Memoir of Old Elizabeth a Coloured Woman|
|1863||Susie King Taylor||Reminiscences of My Life in Camp|
|1865||Charlotte Louise Bridges Forten||Life on the Sea Islands|
|1868||Elizabeth Keckley||Behind the Scenes; or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House|
|1890||Octavia R. Albert||The House of Bondage|
|1891||Lucy Ann Delaney||From the Darkness Cometh the Light; or Struggles for Freedom|
|1892||Anna Julia Cooper||A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South|
|Ida B. Wells||Southern Horrors: Lynch Law and in All Its Phases
A Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynchings in the United States
|1893||Amanda Smith||An Autobiography: The Story of the Lord’s Dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the Colored Evangelist: Containing an Account of Her Life Work of Faith, and Her Travels in America, England, Ireland, Scotland, India, and Africa as an Independent Missionary.|
|1896||Gertrude Mossell||The Work of the Afro-American Woman|
|1898||Kate Drumgoold||A Slave Girl’s Story: Being An Autobiography of Kate Drumgoold|
|1926||Hallie Brown||Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction|
|1904||Virginia Broughton||Women’s Work, as Gleaned from the Women of the Bible|
|1919||NAACP||Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States: 1898-1918|
|1942||Margaret Walker||For My People (poem reading)|
|1950||Gwendolyn Brooks||Annie Allen|
|1953||Katherine Johnson||Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position.|
|1959||Lorraine Hansberry||Raisin in the Sun|
|1968||Audre Lorde||The First Cities|
|1969||Maya Angelou||I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings|
|1970||Shirley Chisholm||Unbossed and Unbought|
|1983||Alice Walker||The Color Purple|
|1986||Rita Dove||Thomas and Beulah|
|2001||Mae Jamison||Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life|
|2001||Condoleezza Rice||Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family
Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me.
|2008||Kamala Harris||Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer|
|2009||LaShawnda Jones||My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey|
|2015||Amanda Gorman||The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough|
|2018||Stacey Abram||Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change|
|2019||Valerie Jarrett||My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward|
|2019||Susan Rice||Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.|