Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Signature Short Stories of Black Writers

By Kenton Rambsy

For decades now, the Big 7 have been mainstays in anthologies featuring short fiction by American and African American writers.

Certainly, these seven writers would perhaps want a more diverse selection of their works to appear. However, editors, not writers, largely dictated the circulations of hundreds of works.

Below, I’ve provided a list of the most frequently republished stories by the Big 7.

Charles Chesnutt
The Goophered Grapevine (23)
The Wife of His Youth (19)
The Passing of Grandison (13)
The Sheriff’s Children (9)
Po’ Sandy (9)

Zora Neale Hurston
The Gilded Six Bits (19)
Sweat (17)
Spunk (9)
Drenched in Light (5)

Richard Wright
The Man Who Was Almost a Man (18)
Bright and Morning Star (10)
Long Black Song (6)
The Man Who Lived Underground (4)
Big Boy Leaves Home (4)

Ralph Ellison
Battle Royal (22)
Flying Home (7)
King of the Bingo Game (4)

James Baldwin
Sonny’s Blues (34)
Going to Meet the man (4)

Toni Cade Bambara 
The Lesson (10)
Raymond’s Run (5)
Gorilla, My Love (3)

Alice Walker
Everyday Use (20)
Nineteen Fifty-Five (5)
To Hell with Dying (4)
Advancing Luna and Ida B. Wells (4)

This entry is part of a series--A Notebook on The Geographies of African American Short Stories.

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