African-American Works

African-American Works

Baldwin, James, Just Above My Head (Dial Press, 1st printing, 1979). Paperback advance reading copy of Baldwin’s novel about two Harlem brothers- one a gay gospel singer- and the woman they both love. Baldwin won a six-figure paperback deal, a Literary Guild advance selection, a $50,000 promotional campaign, and pieces on “Today” and “20/20.” Includes publisher’s letter to booksellers. Good condition. HBB price: $25.


Demijohn, Thom (Thomas Disch & John Sladek), Black Alice (Doubleday/Book Club ed., 1968). LOC 68-22503. The authors take the concept of Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a totally unfamiliar world and apply it to race relations in the United States in the fraught Sixties. Blonde-haired heiress Alice is kidnapped and held for a million-dollar ransom; to make sure no one will find her, the kidnappers brown her skin, treat her hair, and turn her into Black Alice, parked in Bessie McKay’s Norfolk whorehouse. A period piece of “moustache turning satire and melodrama,” one reviewer called it. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, good condition. A rare and unusual find, even as a book club reprint. 8.75” x 5.75”, 224 pp. HBB price: $40.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Robbins, Hollis, editors, In Search of Hannah Crofts: Critical Essays on The Bondswoman’s Narrative (Basic Civitas Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, 2004). ISBN 0-465-02714-8. Essays by 22 scholars on the then-newly discovered mss of The Bondswoman’s Narrative, the first known novel by an African-American. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, very good condition. HBB price: $25.


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Hamilton, Virginia, The People Could Fly (Knopf, 1st ed., 11th printing, 1993). ISBN 0-394-86925-7. Newberry Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Hamilton brings 24 classic African-American folk tales to life, aided by forty illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon, Caldecott Medal winners. A remarkable, delightful work. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket with a few small nicks; very good condition. HBB price: $59.

Harris, Joel Chandler Harris, Nights With Uncle Remus (Houghton Mifflin, 1883, 1911). Hardcover, published under copyright renewed by Harris’ widow. 34 African-American tales in dialect, with 21 lithographed engravings. Green  boards with embossed titling and illustrations on the cover, no dust jacket. Good condition; gift 
inscription on front endpaper from 1915. HBB price: $59.

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Keckley, Elizabeth, Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years A Slave , And Four Years In The White House (Oxford University Press, 1st ed., 12th printing, 1988). This work, part of the Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers series, recovers a memoir by Keckley (1818-1907), a former slave who, as a seamstress in Washington, made dresses for Mrs. Jefferson Davis and Mrs. Robert E. Lee before meeting Mary Lincoln and becoming her confidante and dresser for the next six years. After Mrs. Lincoln made headlines selling used clothing from her White House days to raise money, Keckley published this book in 1868 to try and set the incident in perspective. While her portrait of the martyred president is hagiographic, her profile of Mrs. Lincoln caused its own scandal for its detached, sometimes pointed view of the neurotic former First Lady. Many objected to a White House personal servant spilling the beans- and a black one, at that!- and the book did not sell well. Lincoln severed ties with Keckley over the book. This copy is in good condition, 4.75” x 6.25”, paperback, with some warp to the front cover. A fascinating account of a unique time. HBB price: $20.

Morrison, Toni, Beloved (Knopf, 1st stated ed., 1987). ISBN 0-394-53597-9. Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by the Nobel Laureate. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, some dirty spots on cover, light water stain through bottom corner of text block, but not 

affecting readability or appreciation of this fine work. Previous owner’s bookplate on
front pastedown. HBB price: $35.

Morrison, Toni, Paradise (Knopf, 1st stated ed., 1998). ISBN 0-679-43374-0. Near fine hardcover in near fine, unclipped dust jacket. HBB price: $49.95.


Taubert, Clifton L., Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored (Council Oak Books, 1st ed., 19890. ISBN 0-933031-19-X. A Tulsa businessman looks back on his childhood in segregation times, in the little town of Glen Allan, Mississippi. Elegantly laid out, with lots of photos. An engrossing read about a time and place long gone. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, very good condition, autographed. HBB price: $20.

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