Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations

Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations

5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World

By Retha Powers (Editor); Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Foreword by)

Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316010177, 832pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2013

A comprehensive, all-new collection bringing together the most thoughtful, inspiring, and wisest voices from the Black diaspora across history.
BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR BLACK QUOTATIONS paints a rich canvas of Black history through time. Five thousand quotes are culled from the time of Ancient Egypt through American slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Era, Apartheid, to the present day. With a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and passages from authors, artists, scientists, philosophers, theologians, activists, politicians, and many others, BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR BLACK QUOTATIONS will appeal not only to quote aficionados and researchers, but also to history buffs. Aesop's Fables and the Holy Bible are in the same company as Nelson Mandela and President Obama; Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison; Bob Marley and Jay-Z. A wonderful reference tool and gift, BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR BLACK QUOTATIONS is sure to follow in the footsteps of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," becoming a beloved authority.

About the Author
Powers is a writer and editor whose journalism and essays have appeared in national publications. She serves as executive editor of Quality Paperback Book Club.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Ph.D.Cambridge), is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research, Harvard University. He is the author of Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513 2008; Black in Latin America; Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora; Faces of America; Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self; The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism; Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars; Colored People: A Memoir; The Future of Race with Cornel West; Wonders of the African World; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley. His is also the writer, producer, and narrator of PBS documentaries Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; Faces of America; African American Lives 1 and 2; Looking for Lincoln; America Beyond the Color Line; and Wonders of the African World. He is the editor of African American National Biography with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Dictionary of African Biography with Anthony Appiah; Encyclopedia Africana with Anthony Appiah; and The Bondwoman s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, as well as editor-in-chief of

Praise For Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations

"An impressively researched and documented collection of the finest thought produced by writers throughout the African Diaspora. A magnificent achievement." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"It is not only the most comprehensive book of quotations from black thinkers over some 5,000 years of recorded history, but it also possesses something no other book of quotations quite does: a potent and sweeping narrative arc. It is possible to consume this book avidly from end to end."--Dwight Garner, New York Times

"A meaty, motley collection...The more time I spent with the book, the more deeply I was drawn."--Gene Demby, NPR


"[A] venerable reference work."--Huffington Post

"If you want a snapshot of who we are and why, this is where to look."--Jeff Glor, CBS This Morning

"Because it is one of the handful of reference staples that patrons are likely to ask for by name, no self-respecting library should be without it."--Booklist

Monday, Nov 25, 2013

Retha Powers spent nearly seven years compiling quotes from across the African Diaspora. The result is Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations: 5000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases and Proverbs from Voices Around The World. Host Michel Martin talks with Powers about some of her favorite selections. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.