Monday, November 28, 2016

African American literature: a timeline


By Kenton Rambsy and Howard Rambsy II

We've worked on different timelines for a couple of years, so we decided to combine a few of them into one. While we provide more than 340 entries, we still view this project as a partial timeline. We realize, for instance, that African American literary history precedes 1852, and we have not included each and every writer who's ever published. Like always, this is an ongoing project.

1852: The Heroic Slave, a novella by Frederick Douglass, is published in 1852 by John P. Jewett and Company. The novella resembles a slave narrative even though it is a work of fiction.

1853: William Wells Brown—escaped slave from Kentucky—publishes Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter in London. His novel is considered the first to ever be published by an African American.

1854: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper's volume of poetry Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects is published.

1859: On September 5, 1859 Harriet Wilson’s novel, Our Nig, was published anonymously by George C. Rand and Avery, a publishing firm in Boston. Wilson is considered the first African American to publish a novel within the continental United States.

1859: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s “Two Offers” is published in the Anglo-African.

1859: As a response to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, abolitionist Martin Delany began publishing Blake: Or The Huts of America in a serialized form. This was the first novel by a black man to be published in the United States.

1864: Frances E. W. Harper's poem "Bury Me in a Free Land" is published in Liberator, January 14.

1887: Charles Chesnutt’s “The Goophered Grapevine” is published in The Atlantic .

1893: Paul Laurence Dunbar's first collection of poems Oak and Ivy is published.

1895: Alice Moore's Violets and other tales is published.

1895: Alice Ruth Moore's Violets and Other Tales is published.

1896: Dunbar's Lyrics of Lowly Life is published.

1898: Charles Chesnutt’s “The Wife of His Youth” is published in the July issue of The Atlantic.

1898: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Folks From Dixie is published.

1898: The Uncalled, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s first novel, is published by Dodd, Meed, and Company.

1899: Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman, and Other Conjure Tales is published by Houghton Mifflin.

1899: Alice Ruth Moore's The Goodness of St. Rocque and other stories is published by Dodd, Mead and Company.

1899: Charles Chesnutt’s The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color-Line is published by Houghton Mifflin.

1900: Charles Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars is published by Boston publishing house, Houghton Mifflin Company. His novel expands the thematic representations of race, miscegenation, and passing of his earlier short story collections.

1900: "Lift Every Voice and Sing," written by James Weldon Johnson, is performed for Booker T. Washington.

1900: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories is published.

1901: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s second novel The Fanatics is published by New York publishing house Mead, Dodd and Company.

1901-1902: Sutton E. Griggs founds Orion Publishing Company in Nashville, Tennessee and publishes two self-authored novels back-to-back—Overshadowed (1901) and Unfettered (1902).

1903: Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois is published by A.C. McClurg & Co., Chicago. His collection of essays and concept “double consciousness” would influence the work of many African American novelists.

1905: John Johnson, brother of James Weldon Johnson, sets "Lift Every Voice and Sing" to music.

1912: James Weldon Johnson publishes The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man anonymously through small New York publisher Sherman, French, and Company.

1913: Author and director Oscar Micheaux publishes his first novel, Conquest: The Story Of A Negro Pioneer, through The Woodruff Press. The novel is published anonymously and is based on his life as a homesteader.

1913: Fenton Johnson's first volume A Little Dreaming is published.

1918: Georgia Douglas Johnson's The Heart of a Woman is published. "The Heart of a Woman."

1918: Hope’s Highway by Sarah Lee Brown Fleming is published by Neale Publishing Company

1919: The NAACP adopts "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as "The Negro National Anthem."

1919: Claude McKay's "If We Must Die" is published in the July issue of Liberator.

1921: Langston Hughes's "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published in the June issue of The Crisis magazine.

1921: Zora Neale Hurston wrote “John Redding Goes to Sea” and became a member of Alaine Locke's literary club.

1922: The Book of American Negro Poetry, edited by James Weldon Johnson, is published.

1923: Jean Toomer’s Cane is published by Boni and Liveright.

1925: The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke, is published.

1925:  Countee Cullen's first volume Color is published.

1925: Rudolph Fisher’s “City of Refuge” is published in the Atlantic in February.

1925: Zora Neale Hurston’s “Spunk” is published in The New Negro an anthology of African American poetry, fiction, and essays edited by Alaine Locke.

1925: Zora Neale Hurston won the second-place fiction prize for her short story “Spunk” in the May 1 issue of Opportunity Magazine.

1925: Rudolph Fisher’s “Vestiges” is published in The New Negro ,an anthology edited by Alain Locke.

1926-1927: Oscar Micheaux directs and produces The Conjure Woman (1926) and The House Behind the Cedars (1927). These two films are inspired by two novels by Charles Chesnutt.

1926:  Langston Hughes's first volume The Weary Blues is published by Knopf.

1926:  Langston Hughes's "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" appears in the June issue of The Nation.

1927: Knopf Publishing company republishes The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man with James Weldon Johnson being credited as the author unlike the 1912 version.

1928: The Walls of Jericho by Rudolph Fisher is published by Knopf.

1928: Claude McKay's Home to Harlem is published by Harper and Brothers.

1929: Claude McKay wins Harmon Gold Award for Literature for his novel Home to Harlem.

1929:  Nella Larsen's Passing is published by Knopf.

1929: The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life by Wallace Thurman is published by the Macaulay Company

1930: Not Without Laughter, the only novel written by Langston Hughes, is published by Knopf.

1930: Nella Larsen becomes the first black person to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She uses the funds to travel Europe to write a novel.

1931: George Schuyler's Black No More is published by The Macauley Company

1932: One Way To Heaven by Countee Cullen is published by Harpers.

1932: Sterling A. Brown's Southern Road is published.

1933: Zora Neale Hurston’s “The Gilded Six-Bits” is published.

1934: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories The Ways of White Folks is published.

1936: Richard Wright’s “Big Boy Leaves Home” is published in The New Caravan.

1937: Richard Wright’s “Silt” is published in New Masses.

1937: Margaret Walker's "For My People" is published in the November 1937 issue of Poetry magazine.

1937: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God is published by J.B. Lippincott.

1938: Richard Wright’s “Fire and Cloud” wins first prize and is published in Story magazine.

1940: Richard Wright's Native Son is published; the work is a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

1941: Orson Welles directs stage adaption of Native Son by Richard Wright. Actor Canada Lee stars as Bigger Thomas.

1941: Richard Wright receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

1942: Margaret Walker's For My People, recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets award, is published.

1945: Chester Himes's If He Hollers Let Him Go is published.

1945: Gwendolyn Brooks's A Street in Bronzeville is published by Harper & Row.

1945: A version of Robert Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in the journal Phylon (Vol. 6, No. 3 3rd Qtr., 1945).

1945: Another version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in Cross Section 1945.

1946: Ann Petry's The Street is published.

1947: Melvin B. Tolson named poet laureate of Liberia.

1947: Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” is published in Horizon magazine.

1950: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Simple Speaks His Mind is published.

1950: Gwendolyn Brooks is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her volume Annie Allen (1949).

1952: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is published.

1952: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Laughing to Keep from Crying is published.

1953: Ralph Ellison receives the National Book Award for Fiction for Invisible Man.

1953: James Baldwin's Go Tell It on The Mountain is published.

1953: Richard Wright's The Outsider is published.

1953: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Simple Takes a Wife is published.

1953: Gwendolyn Brooks's Maud Martha is published.

1955: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Simple Takes a Wife is published.

1956: Ernest Gaines publishes his first short story, “The Turtles,” in a college magazine at San Francisco State University.

1957: James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is published in the Partisan Review.

1957: Ernest Gaines’s “Boy in the Double-Breasted Suit” is published.

1957: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Simple Stakes a Claim is published.

1958: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Tambourines to Glory is published.

1959: Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstone is published.

1959: Gwendolyn Brooks's "We Real Cool" is published in the September issue of Poetry magazine.

1960: Ernest Gaines’s “Mary Louis” is published.

1961: Richard Wright’s collection of stories Eight Men is published posthumously.

1961: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories The Best of Simple is published.

1962: John Oliver Killens's And Then We Heard Thunder is published.

1962: Third published version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in his volume A Ballad of Remembrance.

1963: Amiri Baraka's Blues People: Negro Music in White America is published.

1963: Richard Wright's Lawd Today! is published posthumously.

1963: Ernest Gaines’s “Just Like a Tree” is published.

1963: Ernest Gaines’s “The Sky Is Gray” is published

1963: Langston Hughes’s Something in Common and Other Stories is published.

1964: Ernest Gaines’s “A Long Day in November” is published.

1965: Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem on February 21. Poet and essayist Larry Neal witnesses the murder.

1965: The Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School opens in Harlem in April.

1965: Broadside Press is created by Dudley Randall in Detroit, Michigan.

1965: Amiri Baraka's "A Poem For Black Hearts" (a tribute poem for Malcolm X) is published in Negro Digest.

1965:  Amiri Baraka composes and performs "Black Art" for Sonny Murray's album Sonny's Time Now.

1965: James Baldwin’s collection Going to Meet the Man is published by Dial Press.

1965: Langston Hughes’s collection of short stories Simple's Uncle Sam is published.

1966: A fourth published version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” appears in his Selected Poems.

1966: Amiri Baraka's "Black Art" is published in the January issue of Liberator.

1966: John Oliver Killens organizes a major black writers conference at Fisk University in Nashville in April.

1966: Margaret Walker's Jubilee is published.

1966: Ernest Gaines’s “My Grandpa and the Haint” is published.

1967: John Coltrane dies July 17, and quickly becomes a major subject of tribute for black poets.

1967: Amiri Baraka’s collection of stories Tales is published.

1967: Third World Press is created by Haki Madhubuti in Chicago, Illinois.

1967: John Williams's The Man Who Cried I Am is published.

1968: Poet Henry Dumas is killed May 23, New York City Transit Authority police officer.

1968: Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing edited by Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal is published.

1969: Nikki Giovanni has a book party promoting Black Judgement; receives coverage in the New York Times.

1969: James Alan McPherson's Hue and Cry: Stories is published.

1969: Carolyn Rodgers's essay "Black Poetry--Where It's At" appears in Negro Digest in September.

1970: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Publisher.

1971: Ernest Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is published.

1971: Ann Petry’s Miss Muriel and Other Stories is published.

1972: Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo is published.

1972: Toni Cade Bambara’s collection of stories Gorilla, My Love is published.

1973: Alice Walker's collection of stories  In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women is published.

1973: Understanding the New Black Poetry, edited by Stephen Henderson, is published.

1974: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a television movie based on the novel by Ernest Gaines, is broadcast on CBS.

1974: Henry Dumas’s Ark of Bones and Other Stories is published posthumously.

1975: Gayl Jones's Corregidora is published.

1976: Alex Haley's Roots: The Saga of an American Family is published.

1976: Ishmael Reed's Flight to Canada is published.

1976: Black World magazine ceases publication.

1976: Eugene B. Redmond publishes Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry, A Critical Study.

1976: Robert Hayden appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

1977: Roots, the television mini-series, based on Alex Haley’s novel, airs on ABC, on January 23 :30.

1977: Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison is chosen as a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. The novel assists in giving Morrison national attention.

1977: Gayl Jones’s White Rat is published.

1977: Toni Cade Bambara’s The Sea Birds Are Still Alive: Collected Stories is published.

1977: James Alan McPherson's Elbow Room: Stories is published.

1978: Jamaica Kincaid’s “In the Night” is published in the July 17 issue of The New Yorker.

1979: Kindred by Octavia Butler is published. The novel, which is based on time travel and slavery, assists in bringing Butler attention beyond the genre of science fiction.

1979: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Wingless” is published in the January 22 issue of The New Yorker.

1979: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Holiday” is published in the August 20 issue of The New Yorker.

1979: Henry Dumas’s collection of stories Rope of Wind and Other Stories is published posthumously.

1980: The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara is published.

1981: Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Letter from Home” is published in the April 13 issue of The New Yorker.

1981: Charles Johnson’s “Exchange Value” is published.

1982: The Color Purple by Alice Walker is published.

1982: The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor is published.

1982: Jamaica Kincaid’s “At the Bottom of the River” is published in the April 26 issue of The New Yorker.

1982: Alice Walker’s collection of stories You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories is published.

1983: Alice Walker wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Color Purple.

1983: Toni Morrison's “Recitatif” is published in Confirmation: Anthology of African American Women edited by Amiri Baraka and Amina Baraka.

1983: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Figures in the Distance” is published in the May 2 issue of The New Yorker.

1983: Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Red Girl” is published in the August 1 issue of The New Yorker.

1983: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Columbus in Chains” is published in the October 3 issue of The New Yorker.

1983: Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Circling Hand” is published in the November 14 issue of The New Yorker.

1983: Jamaica Kincaid’s collection of short stories At the Bottom of the River is published.

1983: Paule Marshall’s Reena and Other Stories is published.

1984: Nathaniel Mackey's Eroding Witness (1985) selected by M. Harper as a National Poetry Series Winner.

1984: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Gwen” is published in the April 9 issue of The New Yorker.

1984: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Somewhere, Belgium” is published in the May 7 issue of The New Yorker.

1984: Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Long Rain” is published in the July 23 issue of  The New Yorker.

1984: Jamaica Kincaid’s “A Walk to the Jetty” is published in the October 29 issue of The New Yorker.

1985: Steven Spielberg produces and directs The Color Purple, a film based on Alice Walker’s novel.

1985: Gwendolyn Brooks appointed the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

1985: Robert Hayden: Collected Poems, edited by Frederick Glaysher, is published.

1985: Zora Neale Hurston’s Spunk: Selected Stories is published posthumously.

1986: Charles Johnson’s The Sorcerer's Apprentice is published.

1986: A film adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son is made with Victor Love playing the role of Bigger Thomas and Oprah Winfrey playing his mother, Mrs. Thomas.

1987: Rita Dove awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Thomas and Beulah.

1987: The Dark Room Collective is founded by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange.

1987: Toni Morrison’s Beloved is published.

1988: Toni Morrison wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel Beloved.

1988: Henry Dumas’s Goodbye, Sweetwater: New and Selected Stories is published posthumously.

1988: Good Woman and Next: New Poems (1987), both by Lucille Clifton, finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

1988: Yusef Komunyakaa's Dien Cai Dau is published.

1989: Donna Deitch directs the television mini-series The Women of Brewster’s Place based on Gloria Naylor’s novel. The mini-series stars Oprah Winfrey, Robin Givens, and Jack√©e.

1989: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Poor Visitor” is published in the February 20 issue of The New Yorker.

1989: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Mariah” is published in the June 19 issue of The New Yorker.

1989: Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Tongue” is published in the October 2 issue of The New Yorker.

1989: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Cold Heart” is published in the June 18 issue of The New Yorker.

1989: Gwendolyn Brooks is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

1990: Elizabeth Alexander's The Venus Hottentot is published.

1990: Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky (1991) by Thylias Moss, National Poetry Series Winner.

1990: Walter Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress is published.

1990: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Lucy” is published in the September 17 issue of The  New Yorker.

1990: Charles Johnson's Middle Passage is published.

1990: Charles Johnson is awarded the National Book Award for Fiction for Middle Passage

1991: Affrilachian Poets -- a literary and arts group -- begin organizing in Lexington, Kentucky.

1992: Derek Walcott receives Nobel Prize for Literature.

1992: Marilyn Nelson wins the Anisfield-Wolf Award for The Homeplace.

1992: Edward P. Jones’s collection of stories Lost in the City is published.

1992: Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan is published.

1992: In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers, edited by Kevin Powell & Ras Baraka, published.

1993: Maya Angelou reads poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at inauguration of Bill Clinton.

1993: Rita Dove appointed Poet Laureate of U.S.

1993: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Song of Roland” is published in the April 5 issue of The New Yorker.

1993: Kevin Young's Most Way Home (1995) is selected by Lucille Clifton as a National Poetry Series Winner.

1993: Ernest J Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying is published by Knopf Publishing group.

1993: Ernest J Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying wins National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

1993: Toni Morrison wins the Nobel Prize for literature.

1994: The Furious Flower Poetry conference, organized by Joanne Gabbin, takes place September 29 - October 1.

1994: Yusef Komunyakaa wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1994: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Xuela” is published in the May 2 issue of The New Yorker.

1994: Alice Walker’s The Complete Stories is published.

1994: Yusef Komunyakaa receives the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Neon Vernacular.

1994: Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory is published.

1995: Carl Franklin directs Devil in a Blue Dress based on Walter Mosley’s novel. The film stars Denzel Washington.

1995: Forest Whitaker directs Waiting to Exhale based on Terry McMillan’s novel. The film stars Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett.

1995: Carl Franklin directs Devil in a Blue Dress based on Walter Mosley’s novel. The film stars Denzel Washington.

1995: Octavia Bulter becomes the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

1995: Jamaica Kincaid’s “In Roseau” is published in the April 10 issue of The New Yorker.

1995: Zora Neale Hurston’s The Complete Stories is published posthumously.

1995: Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild and other stories is published.

1996: Cave Canem, retreat for African American poets, is founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady.

1996: The Norton Anthology of African American Literature eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay.

1996: Paul Beatty’s The White Boy Shuffle is published.

1996: Oprah Winfrey starts “Oprah’s Book Club,” featuring book for her viewers to read and discuss.

1996: Oprah’s Book Club features Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977) in October.

1996: Langston Hughes’s Short Stories of Langston Hughes is published posthumously.

1996: Percival Everett’s “The Appropriation of Cultures” is published.

1996: Edwidge Danticat's collection of stories Krik? Krak! is published.

1996: Ralph Ellison’s Flying Home and Other Stories is published posthumously.

1997: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde is published.

1997: Oprah’s Book Club features Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying (1993) in September.

1997: Paradise by Toni Morrison is published.

1998: Oprah’s Book Club features Toni Morrison’s Paradise (1997) in January.

1998: Kevin Rodney directs How Stella Got Her Groove Back based on Terry McMillan. Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, and Whoopi Goldberg star in the film.

1998: Oprah’s Book Club features Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) in May.

1999: Natasha Trethewey's Domestic Work (2000), selected by Rita Dove for the inaugural Cave Canem prize

1999: Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist is published.

1999: Ai wins the National Book Award for Poetry for Vice: New and Selected Poems.

1999: Terrance Hayes receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2000: Oprah’s Book Club features Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970) in April.

2000: Sister Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever is published.

2000: Lucille Clifton wins the National Book Award for Poetry for her volume Blessing the Boats.

2000: Terrance Hayes receives the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Muscular Music.

2000: ZZ Packer’s “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” is published in the June 12 issue of The New Yorker.

2001: Yusef Komunyakaa awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

2001: Terrance Hayes's Hip Logic (2002) is selected by Cornelius Eady as a National Poetry Series Winner.

2001: Colson Whitehead’s John Henry Days is published.

2001: Sonia Sanchez is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

2001: Lucille Clifton receives Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.

2001: Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination is published.

2001: Walter Mosley’s Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World is published.

2001: Charles Johnson’s Soulcatcher and Other Stories is published.

2001: Nalo Hopkinson’s Skin Folk is published.

2002: Langston Hughes symposium, organized by Maryemma Graham, takes place.

2002: Amiri Baraka appointed Poet Laureate of New Jersey in July.

2002: Tracy K. Smith's volume The Body's Question is selected by Kevin Young for Cave Canem Prize for poetry.

2002: Jay Wright receives Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.

2002: Colson Whitehead earns a MacArthur Fellowship.

2002: Carl Phillips receives the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for The Tether.

2002: Oprah’s Book Club features Toni Morrison’s Sula (1973) in April.

2002: Tayari Jones's Leaving Atlanta is published.

2002: ZZ Packer’s “The Ant of the Self” is published in the November 18 issue of The New Yorker.

2003: Major Jackson receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2003: Suzan-Lori Parks's Getting Mother's Body is published.

2003: Toni Morrison's Love is published.

2003: Edward P. Jones's The Known World is published.

2003: Edward P. Jones’s “A Rich Man” is published in the July 28 issue of The New Yorker.

2003: Edward P. Jones’s “All Aunt Hagar’s Children” is published in the December 15 issue of Thew New Yorker.

2003: Henry Duma’s collection of short fiction Echo Tree: The Collected Short Fiction of Henry Dumas is published posthumously.

2004: Tyehimba Jess's Leadbelly: poems (2005), selected by Brigit P. Kelly as a National Poetry Series Winner.

2004: Second Furious Flower Poetry conference, organized by Joanne Gabbin, takes place September 22 - 25.

2004: Edward Jones is awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Known World.

2004: A. Van Jordan receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2004: ZZ Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is published.

2004: Edward P. Jones’s “Old Boys, Old Girls” is published in the May 3 issue of The New Yorker

2004: Edward P. Jones’s “Adam Robinson” is published in the December 13 issue of The New Yorker.

2004: Percival Everett’s Damned if I Do: Stories is published.

2005: Patricia Smith's Teahouse of the Almighty (2006) is a National Poetry Series Winner.

2005: A. Van Jordan receives Anisfield-Wolf Award for Macnolia: Poems.

2005: Charles Johnson’s Dr. King’s Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories is published.

2005: Thomas Sayers Ellis receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2005: Tracy K. Smith receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2005: John Keene receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2006: Nathaniel Mackey wins the National Book Award for Poetry for his volume Splay Anthem.

2006: Tyehimba Jess receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2006: Edward P. Jones’s “Bad Neighbors” is published in the July 31 issue of The New Yorker.

2006: Edward P. Jones’s All Aunt Hagar's Children is published.

2006: Amiri Baraka’s collection of stories Tales of the Out & the Gone is published.

2007: Lucille Clifton awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

2007: Elizabeth Alexander becomes first-ever recipient of Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize.

2007: Natasha Trethewey wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her volume Native Guard (2006).

2007: Nikki Giovanni reads poem on April 17, commemorating the April 16 Virginia Tech massacre.

2007: Colson Whitehead’s Apex Hides the Hurt is published.

2008: Michael S. Harper is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

2008: Douglas Kearney's The Black Automaton (2009) selected as a National Poetry Series Winner.

2008: Adrian Matejka's Mixology (2009) is selected by Kevin Young as a National Poetry Series Winner.

2008: Colson Whitehead’s “The Gangster’s” is published in the December 22 issue of The New Yorker.

2008: Richard Wright’s A Father's Law is posthumously published.

2008: Toni Morrison’s A Mercy is published.

2009: Elizabeth Alexander reads "Praise Song for the Day" at inauguration of Barack Obama.

2009: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories The Thing Around Your Neck is published.

2009: Praise Song For The Day by E. Alexander and Bicycles by Nikki Giovanni are top best selling volumes.

2009: Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor is published.

2009: Jericho Brown receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2010: Terrance Hayes wins National Book Award for Poetry for his volume Lighthead.

2010: Lucille Clifton is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

2010: "73 Poems for 73 Years: Celebrating the Life of Lucille Clifton" held on September 21.

2010: Elizabeth Alexander receives Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry.

2010: ZZ Packer’s “Dayward” is published in the June 7 issue of The New Yorker.

2010: Harryette Mullen receives the Jackson Poetry Prize.

2011: Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry for her volume Head Off & Split.

2011: Sonia Sanchez appointed Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.

2011: The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry, edited by Rita Dove, is published.

2011: Colson Whitehead's Zone One is published.

2011: Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones is published and wins National Book Award for Fiction.

2011: James E. Cherry's Still a Man and Other Stories is published.

2012: Walter Mosley’s “Reply to a Dead Man” is published in December issue of The Atlantic.

2012: Elizabeth Alexander begins her "twitter poem project."

2012: Marilyn Nelson is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

2012: Tracy K. Smith wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her volume Life on Mars.

2012: N. Giovanni, M. Angelou & Joanne Gabbin organize a celebration for Toni Morrison on October 16.

2012: The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 is published by BOA Editions Ltd.

2012: Natasha Trethewey is appointed Mississippi's Poet Laureate.

2012: Natasha Trethewey is announced as the new U.S. Poet Laureate.

2012: Kevin Young's book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness is published by Graywolf Press.

2013: Natasha Trethewey is reappointed as the U.S. Poet Laureate.

2013: Adrian Matejka’s The Big Smoke is published.

2013: Rowan Ricardo receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2013: James McBride's The Good Lord Bird is published and wins the National Book Award for Fiction.

2013: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s "Checking out" is published in the March 18 issue of The New Yorker.

2014: Amiri Baraka dies January 9.

2014: Adrian Matejka receives the Anisfield-Wolf Award for The Big Smoke.

2014: Claudia Rankine receives the Jackson Poetry Prize.

2014: Maya Angelou dies May 28.

2014: Nathaniel Mackey wins Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

2014: Terrance Hayes earns a MacArthur Fellowship.

2014: Afaa Michael Weaver receives the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for The Government of Nature.

2014: Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings is published.

2014: Yona Harvey receives the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Hemming the Water.

2014: Tracy K. Smith is awarded Academy of American Poets' Fellowship.

2015: Nathaniel Mackey wins Yale’s Bollingen Prize for Poetry.

2015: Kamau Brathwaite is awarded the Frost Medal.

2015: Jericho Brown receives the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The New Testament.

2015: Claudia Rankine wins National Book Critics Circle Award.

< b>2015: Aracelis Girmay receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2015: Paul Beatty’s The Sellout is published.

2015: Roger Reeves receives Whiting Writers' Award.

2015: Gregory Pardlo wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Digest.

2015: Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings wins the Man Booker Prize.

2015: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Apollo” is published in April 13 issue of The New Yorker.

2015: Toni Morrison’s “Sweetness” is published in the February 9 issue of The New Yorker.

2015: John Keene’s Counternarratives: Stories and Novellas is published.

2016: Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is published; chosen for Oprah Winfrey's Book Club; winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

2016: Paul Beatty’s The Sellout wins the Man Booker Prize.

2016: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Arrangments’: A Work of Fiction” is published in the July 3 issue of The New Yorker.

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