Skip to Main Content

Special Collections: African American Studies Research Guide

African American Literature

Special Collections holdings include works by African American literary authors from the colonial period to contemporary times, with a concentration on the period of the Harlem Renaissance. Special Collections holds substantial works by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Amiri Baraka, Clarence Majors, and Ishmael Reed. Among the print sources are numerous folios including a collection of poetry broadsides, chapbooks and poetry collections published by Broadside Press, founded by poet Dudley Randall in 1965. The Broadside Press collection features the works of  Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, Robert Hayden, Dudley Randall, Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez and many others. The list below indicates just some of the authors and works held in Special Collections. Please search DELCAT Discovery for additional authors and titles.

Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance (circa 1918-1937) was the most defining movement in African American literary history and art. The movement laid the ground work for all later African American literature and made a significant impact on Black literature worldwide. Marked by a burgeoning of African American artistic and intellectual activity, the Harlem Renaissance is associated with  figures such as Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen. Below is a list of just a few of the works by Harlem Renaissance authors held by Special Collections.