For Students: Highlighting African American Literature

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| By Michelle Lee & Kristen Dorsch |

African American Literature for Students, Volume 1—the first in Gale’s new line of For Students special editions—is now available! It includes 14 entries on novels, poems, short stories, and dramas that have never before been covered in For Students. Entries include works from tried-and-true authors such as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes as well as works from contemporary authors such as poet Tyehimba Jess and science fiction writer N. K. Jemisin.

African American Literature for Students is specifically designed to meet the curricular needs of high school and undergraduate college students and their teachers. Each work was chosen by an advisory panel of teachers and librarians—experts who have helped us define the information needs of students and ensure the age-appropriateness of this reference’s content. Within the pages of African American Literature for Students, young researchers will discover everything they need to complete homework assignments and lead classroom discussions.

Every entry in the For Students series includes an author biography, plot or poem summary, and character descriptions; a discussion of the themes, style, and historical context of the work; a critical overview and criticism; and a list of sources, suggestions for further reading, and search terms.

For Students entries contain many classroom-ready features, including:

  • Critical thinking questions
  • Classroom activities
  • Primary source links
  • Media adaptations
  • Compare and contrast feature
  • “What Do I Read Next?” suggestions

Gale’s new For Students special editions—including African American Literature for Students —highlight minority and LGBTQIA+ literature, providing much-needed representation of literary works for all students. The classic and contemporary works covered also include a discussion of the social, political, cultural, and historical context of each work.

Two more special editions will be released in 2020: LGBTQIA+ Literature for Students, Volume 1 (August 2020) and Hispanic and Latino American Literature for Students, Volume 1 (December 2020). 

African American Literature for Students, Volume 1 is available in print and eBook format on Gale eBooks.


Meet the Author

Kristen Dorsch and Michelle Lee are senior content developers at Gale, where they work on the K‒12 Curriculum and Humanities team.


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