Monday, November 28, 2011

Notable Findings Concerning 100 Black Novels

[By Kenton Rambsy]

Over the next two weeks, I am providing a series of blog entries that highlight notable findings concerning 100 novels from our collection. The entries seek to provide information on some of the preliminary findings of our research concerning a large number of African American novels published between 1850 and 2010.

We highlight, for example, common qualities of protagonists and settings, the significance of Wikipedia, the importance of author awards and fellowships, and dates of publication. Ideally, our research and writing sheds new light on the holdings of the HBW novel collection and more broadly on African American publishing and literary history.

November 28: 100 Black Novels by Decade, 1850-2010
November 29: Character Traits of Novel Protagonists
November 30: The Color Purple and Wikipedia
December 1: The Evolution of Novel Covers
December 2: The Growing Importance of Authors Awarded Fellowships
December 5: 49 African American Novels on Wikipedia
December 6:The Growing Importance of Formal Education
December 7: The prominence NYC, Chicago, and California
December 8: The Significance of Novel Time Period


  1. One thread to follow involves stamps. Do postage stamps encourage people to do any research on or reading of works by the figures they portray?

  2. Dr. Ward, thanks for the suggestion. Actually, you pinpointed one of the motivations for using this picture. For instance, what impression do stamps have on the reception of black writers? Of course, this is a very broad question, but we have been trying to think about possible ways to explore this when looking at our 100 novels--since many of the authors in our list have stamps.