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Lift Every Voice and Sing

Guide to accompany the Hostos African American Read-In and introduce students to key works of literature.

About this guide

This guide was first created as a companion to the 2023 Hostos African American Read-In, Lift Every Voice and Sing, organized by Professor Cynthia Jones of the English Department.

Works included in this guide are primarily from Prof. Jones' independent reading list for students in her ENG 225 course, Literature of the Black American, as well as works written or edited by authors who have been featured during this and previous Hostos African American Read-Ins. Many thanks to Prof. Jones for organizing this ongoing series of events! 


Fiction: novels, short stories, plays

Non-fiction: memoirs and biographies

Non-fiction: essays

El escritor afro-hispano y el proceso creativo, por Blas Jiménez en Afro-Hispanic Review, vol. 21, no. 1/2, Spring-Fall 2002.

This scholarly article, in Spanish, "(e)xamines the creative process of Afro-Hispanic writers, noting that it extends beyond the simple interpretation of reality. Explains that these writers' necessity to create stems from the necessity to exist within a cultural context that has robbed them of their identity. Discusses the examples of several writers, including Colombian novelist Manuel Zapata Olivella, Panamanian poet Gerardo Maloney, Dominican poet Aida Cartagena, Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiang'o, Panamanian novelist Cubena, Cuban historian Manuel Moreno Fraginals, and Puerto Rican fiction and non-fiction writer Ana Lydia Vega."

Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master - by Jourdan Anderson

This letter, understood to be sardonic/satirical, was published in the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper in 1865. 

Driving While Black: Race, Space, and Mobility in America

This documentary, by Gretchin Sorin and Ric Burns, and available streaming in Hostos Library's Academic Video Online (AVON) database, was presented to Hostos President David Gomez at the African American Read-In of 2020.