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Biographical Resources: An African and African Diaspora Approach: Reference Books (H-W)

Use this guide to locate information about people of African descent.

Print Resources

Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kathleen Sheldon. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2005. AFR Ref. HQ 1787 .S44 2005

In Black and White. Spradling, Mary Mace. Detroit, Mich.: Gale, 1985. 2 vols. + suppl. AFR Ref. Z 1361 N39 S76 1980 & Ref. Z 1361 N39 S76 1980/Suppl. (also in Olin Library)
A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning more than 15,000 black individuals and groups, their careers and contributions to society. Includes index to occupations.

Malcolm X Encyclopedia. Jinkins, Robert L. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002. AFR Ref BP 223 .Z8 L57626x 2002
This work explores Malcolm X, and the important events and people during his lifetime.

Notable Black American Men. Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. AFR Ref. E 185.86 N68x 1998
This volume provides biographies of 500 men who are living or dead and covers nearly three centuries. The earliest known birth date of the entrants is 1711, when poet and tract writer Jupiter Hammon was born, and most recent in 1975. when professional golfer was born.

Notable Black American Women. Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. AFR Ref. E 185.96 N89 & Ref. E 185.96 N891 1996 (also in Uris Library)
Narrative biographical essays on 500 notable Black American women (approximately 425 contemporaries and about 75 "forerunners") in all fields of endeavor are accompanied by basic biographical data and a list of sources for further reading. About 175 entries contain photographs.

Notable Black American Scientists. Krapp, Kristine, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1999. AFR Ref. Q141 .N726x 1999
Profiles approximately 250 black Americans who have made contributions to the sciences, including inventors, researchers, award winners, and educators.

Political Leaders in Black Africa: A Biographical Dictionary of the Major Politicians Since Independence. Wiseman, John A. Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, Vt., USA : E.Elgar Pub., 1991. AFR Ref. DT 352.8 W81 (also in the Annex Library)
Includes major Sub-Saharan politicians since colonial independence.

Selected Black American, African, and Caribbean Authors: A Bio-Bibliography. AFR Ref. Z 1361 N39 P13 1985 (also in Olin Library)
632 non-literary writers are covered.

Twentieth-Century Caribbean and Black African Writers. 1992-1993. (Dictionary of Literary Biography, vols. 117 and 125). AFR Ref PR 9205 A52 T96 (also in Uris Library)
Comprised of biographies of writers from 14 nations in Africa and Caribbean.

Who's Who Among African Americans. Detroit, MI: Gale Research. AFR Ref. E185.96 W62
This book has short biographical entries of over 20,000 men and women who have made various contributions to today's society. (also in Olin Library)

Who's Who in Colored America. 7 vols. 1927-1950. Microfiche 6, nos. 281-287. (print edition in Olin Library)

Who's Who in South African Politics. Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1992. AFR Ref. DT 1774 .W62 no. 4 (also in Olin Library)
Ongoing documentation of various individuals involved in current South African politics.

World's Great Men of Color. Rogers, J. A. New York: Macmillan, 1972. 2 volumes. AFR Ref DT 18 R72 1972 (also in Uris Library)
This two volume set explodes the myth that blacks played minor roles in world history. J. A. Rogers documents famous people of African decent. Historical figures includes those found in ancient Egypt, Europe, to the Americas. Black personalities include Akhenaton, Aesop, Cleopatra, Alexandre Dumas, St. Benedict the Moor, Marcus Garvey, and Aleksander Pushkin.


Africana Librarian

Eric Kofi Acree's picture
Eric Kofi Acree
Africana Library

Telephone: (607) 255-5229

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