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My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African-American Literature

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In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpie In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces– and reprinted them in their entirety. The result is a book as thrilling in its passion as it is vast in scope. Though these selections come from a range of genres (verse, memoir, historical, and personal narrative), they are all, fundamentally, stories of strength and survival. Frederick Douglass’s frank narrative of escape from slavery and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s classic verse take their place beside lesser-known works like Nat Love’s stirring account of life as a black cowboy, Ida B. Wells’s haunting descriptions of lynchings, and the crisp, compelling adventures of Olaudah Equiano. Wideman prefaces each selection with an illuminating biographical essay. The fruit of a lifetime’s devotion to the best American writing, My Soul Has Grown Deep will stand as an enduring monument to the depth and beauty of African-American literature.


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In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpie In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces– and reprinted them in their entirety. The result is a book as thrilling in its passion as it is vast in scope. Though these selections come from a range of genres (verse, memoir, historical, and personal narrative), they are all, fundamentally, stories of strength and survival. Frederick Douglass’s frank narrative of escape from slavery and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s classic verse take their place beside lesser-known works like Nat Love’s stirring account of life as a black cowboy, Ida B. Wells’s haunting descriptions of lynchings, and the crisp, compelling adventures of Olaudah Equiano. Wideman prefaces each selection with an illuminating biographical essay. The fruit of a lifetime’s devotion to the best American writing, My Soul Has Grown Deep will stand as an enduring monument to the depth and beauty of African-American literature.

46 review for My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African-American Literature

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phi Beta Kappa Authors

    John Edgar Wideman ΦBK, University of Pennsylvania, 1962 Editor From the publisher: In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces– and reprinted them in their entirety. T John Edgar Wideman ΦBK, University of Pennsylvania, 1962 Editor From the publisher: In this vital and inspiring volume, John Edgar Wideman has brought together the first truly representative sampling of literature by African-American writers in the early centuries of our history. Reaching across periods, styles, and regional borders, Wideman has selected twelve works of genius–some of them celebrated literary icons, others neglected or forgotten masterpieces– and reprinted them in their entirety. The result is a book as thrilling in its passion as it is vast in scope. Though these selections come from a range of genres (verse, memoir, historical, and personal narrative), they are all, fundamentally, stories of strength and survival. Frederick Douglass’s frank narrative of escape from slavery and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s classic verse take their place beside lesser-known works like Nat Love’s stirring account of life as a black cowboy, Ida B. Wells’s haunting descriptions of lynchings, and the crisp, compelling adventures of Olaudah Equiano. Wideman prefaces each selection with an illuminating biographical essay. The fruit of a lifetime’s devotion to the best American writing, My Soul Has Grown Deep will stand as an enduring monument to the depth and beauty of African-American literature.

  2. 4 out of 5

    M. Lee

    This marvelous book begins with an essay by former slave Richard Allen: At length our master said he was convinced that religion made slaves better and not worse, and often boasted of his slaves for their honesty and industry . It ends with the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar: Then like a cold wave on a shore, / Comes silence and she sings no more. / I wake, I breathe, I think again, / And walk the sordid ways of men. I couldn't put down James Weldon Johnson's, "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colore This marvelous book begins with an essay by former slave Richard Allen: At length our master said he was convinced that religion made slaves better and not worse, and often boasted of his slaves for their honesty and industry . It ends with the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar: Then like a cold wave on a shore, / Comes silence and she sings no more. / I wake, I breathe, I think again, / And walk the sordid ways of men. I couldn't put down James Weldon Johnson's, "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man." He describes a lynching and then reflects: Whenever I hear protests from the South that it should be left alone to deal with the Negro question, my thoughts go back to that scene of brutality and savagery. I do not see how a people that can find in its conscience any excuse whatever for slowly burning to death a human being, or to tolerate such an act, can be entrusted with the salvation of a race. We've heard the names W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, Sojourner Truth. But have we read their words? This collection of writings gives us all the chance to read of their experiences, failures, successes, desires, and disappointments. There are others that most of us haven't heard of, however, this book provides us the opportunity to be exposed to very talented, articulate voices that speak astounding truths.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    This book is a compilation of information/works/autobiographies of AA/Blacks. Jarena Lee, Olaudah Equiano, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Richard Allen, W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folks, Phyllis Wheatley, Harlem Renaissance, The first African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Bloodletting and more. EXCELLENT FOR CHILDREN, A MUST HAVE FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY, I IMPLORE YOU TO BUY THIS BOOK!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daja

    I bought this hardcover at the King Museum in Atlanta. Its a big heavy book. I aint through with it yet!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ht

    This is a book I come back to every so often to read the additional stories.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Genesis

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lakesha

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dominque

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anwar

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cori Greer-Banks

  15. 5 out of 5

    William Fitzgerald

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Ellis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mo Love

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charisse Montgomery

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bradford Manning

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

  22. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Hall

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marla Glenn

  24. 4 out of 5

    Walton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vincent F. A. Golphin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fatoumata Magassa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tory

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hodgson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frederick

  31. 5 out of 5

    Cherryl

  32. 4 out of 5

    Macario

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  34. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

  35. 5 out of 5

    Alfreada Brown-Kelly

  36. 5 out of 5

    Vy

  37. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  38. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Chiuten

  39. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  40. 5 out of 5

    SnowFire

  41. 4 out of 5

    Tanner

  42. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  43. 4 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  44. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Davis

  45. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  46. 4 out of 5

    Michael Strode

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