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Black Literature Matters

Open to the public with limited capacity in The Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery
April 28, 2021 - May 1, 2022

In a consequential moment in American history, the New York Society Library presents a not-to-be-missed exhibition of its remarkable collection of African American, Caribbean, and African writers. The Library showcases our remarkable holdings of books by Black writers dating from the late eighteenth century to the present day.

Guest curator Farah Jasmine Griffin has selected titles by such legendary writers as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Lorraine Hansberry, and Toni Morrison. Black Literature Matters also highlights the pioneering work of librarians Dorothy Porter and Jean Blackwell Hutson. Included in the exhibition are photographs by Carl Van Vechten, Nancy Crampton, Morgan and Marvin Smith, and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Dr. Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and African-American Studies at Columbia University, and the Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. She is a prolific author on the African American experience.

The exhibition will be open to the public in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery beginning Wednesday, April 28. Watch for announcements of related online events!

More Black literature resources here.


This exhibition is generously supported by The Florence Gould Foundation.

At left: Photograph of Langston Hughes. Copyright © Van Vechten Trust; Gravure and Compilation copyright © Eakins Press Foundation.

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