The Proliferation of Black Literature Anthologies, 1965 – 1976

The proliferation of anthologies during the mid-1960s to the late 1970s was a defining moment in the circulation of African American literature.

Let’s take a look at 115 collections, published between 1965 and 1976, featuring poetry, essays, short fiction, drama, slave narratives, speeches, and a combination of those genres.

Here’s a breakdown of the anthologies based on the type of writings featured. Poems were quite pervasive – appearing in collections with multiple genres and poetry anthologies.

30 of the anthologies were published in 1970 – the most during a single year in this dataset.

83 of the anthologies include “black” in the title, thus solidifying that term’s significance as a frame for classifying artistic compositions by African American writers.

Explore this interactive bibliography, which focuses on anthology title, editor(s), and year of publication.