Saturday, June 24, 2023

Biographies published since 2000

As a complement to a list of scholarly books in African American literary studies, I decided to compile a partial list of biographies. 

I first started thinking in a serious way about black biographies as a genre during the late 1990s, when my friend Donald Garcia begin mentioning books such as Martin Duberman's Paul Robeson (1989) and David Levering Lewis's W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1919: Biography of a Race (1993).

2000: W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963  by David Levering Lewis
2000: Chester Himes: A Life  by James Sallis
2000: I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson
2000: Rosa Parks: A Life by Douglas Brinkley
2001: Frantz Fanon: A Biography  by David Macey
2001: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1930 by Patricia A. Schechter
2001: Richard Wright: The Life and Times by Hazel Rowley
2002: Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius by Lawrence P. Jackson
2002: So What: The Life of Miles Davis by John Szwed
2002: Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd
2003: Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero by Kate Clifford Larson
2003: Harriet Jacobs: A Life  by Jean Yellin
2004: Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn C. White
2004: Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton
2004: Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson by Geoffrey C. Ward
2004: Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde  by Alexi De Veaux
2004: Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press  by Melba Joyce Boyd
2006: Claude McKay: The Literary Identity from Jamaica to Harlem And Beyond  by Kotti Sree Ramesh and Kandula Nirupa Rani
2007: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life: A Biography by Elisabeth Bumiller
2007: Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker by Patrick McGilligan
2007: Ralph Ellison: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad
2007: Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power by Marcus Mabry
2008: Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching  by Paula J. Giddings
2008: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey by Colin Grant
2009: Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye

2009: Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin D. G. Kelley
2009: To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells  by Mia Bay
2010: John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
2010: John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism  by Keith Gilyard
2010: The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick
2010: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2011: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
2011: Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Zack O'Malley Greenburg
2012: And Bid Him Sing: A Biography of Countée Cullen  by Charles Molesworth
2012: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography by Randall Jelks
2012: The One: The Life and Music of James Brown by RJ Smith
2013: Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout
2013: Ella Baker: Community Organizer of the Civil Rights Movement by J. Todd Moye
2013: Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch
2013: Nikki Giovanni: A Literary Biography  by Virginia C. Fowler
2013: Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art by Lindsey R. Swindall
2014: Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas  by Jeffrey B Leak
2014: Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man by Marcus Baram
2015: W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist by Shawn Leigh Alexander
2016: Stokely: A Life by Peniel E. Joseph
2016: The Lives of Frederick Douglass  by Robert S. Levine
2017: A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks  by Angela Jackson
2017: Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson
2017: Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice by Keith Gilyard
2017: Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan by Elaine M. Hayes

2018: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
2018: Harriet, The Moses of Her People: A Biography of Harriet Tubman by Sarah H. Bradford
2018: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry  by Imani Perry
2018: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
2019: JAY-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson
2020: Fannie Lou Hamer: America's Freedom Fighting Woman by Meagan Parker Brooks
2020: The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne (with Tamara Payne)
2021: Half in Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Nellie Y. McKay by Shanna Benjamin
2021: Madam C.J. Walker: The Making of an American Icon by Erica L. Ball
2021: Radical Vision: A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry by Soyica Diggs Colbert
2021: Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America by Keisha N. Blain
2021: Walk with Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kate Clifford Larson
2022: Claude McKay: The Making of a Black Bolshevik by Winston James
2022: Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott
2022: It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him by Justin Tinsley
2022: Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun by Charles J. Shields
2022: Love, Activism, and the Respectable Life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson by Tara T. Green
2022: Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird by Gene Andrew Jarrett
2022: Saxophone Colossus: The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins by Aidan Levy
2022: The House Where My Soul Lives: The Life of Margaret Walker by Maryemma Graham
2023: King: A Life by Jonathan Eig

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