A Bibliography of Classical Reception in African-American Intellectual History

This page is a bibliography of scholarly works that in some way contribute to or play a role in the conversation about African American reception of the Classics. It is and will for some time remain a work in progress. If you see anything that is missing and should be included, please let me know in the comments section or via email at davidwithun@gmail.com.

Books and Book Chapters

Adler, Eric. Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016.

Berlinerblau, Jacques. Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibilities of American Intellectuals. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Bernal, Martin. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Volume 1: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2003 [1987].

—-. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Volume 2: The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2002.

—-. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Volume 3: The Linguistic Evidence. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2006.

—-. Black Athena Writes Back: Martin Bernal Responds to His Critics. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.

Cook, William W., and James Tatum. African American Writers and Classical Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Cowherd, Carrie. “The Wings of Atalanta: Classical Influences in The Souls of Black Folk.” In The Souls of Black Folk: One Hundred Years Later, edited by Dolan Hubbard, 284-97. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2003.

Goff, Barbara, and Michael Simpson. Crossroads in the Black Aegean: Oedipus, Antigone, and Dramas of the African Diaspora. Oxford: University Press, 2007.

Hall, Edith, Richard Alston, and Justine McConnell. Ancient Slavery and Abolition: From Hobbes to Hollywood. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Lefkowitz, Mary. Not Out of Africa: How “Afrocentrism” Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. New York: Basic Books, 1996.

Malamud, Margaret. African Americans and the Classics: Antiquity, Abolition and Activism. New York: I. B. Tauris, 2016.

Orrells, Daniel, Gurminder K. Bhambra, and Tessa Roynon, eds. African Athena: New Agendas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Rankine, Patrice D. Ulysses in Black: Ralph Ellison, Classicism, and African American Literature. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.

—-. Aristotle and Black Drama: A Theater of Civil Disobedience. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2013.

Roynon, Tessa. Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition: Transforming American Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Scarborough, William Sanders. The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough an American Journey from Slavery to Scholarship. Edited by Michelle Valerie Ronnick. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005.

—-. The Works of William Sanders Scarborough: Black Classicist and Race Leader. Edited by Michele Valerie Ronnick. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Snowden, Frank M. Jr. Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.

—-. Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970.

Walters, Tracey L. African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Wetmore, Kevin J. Black Dionysus: Greek Tragedy and African American Theater. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003.

Journal Articles

Quest, Matthew. “Direct Democracy and the Search for Identity for Colonized People: The Contemporary Meanings of C. L. R. James’s Classical Athens.” Classical Receptions Journal 9, no. 2 (2017): 237-267.

Ronnick, Michele Valerie. “Twelve Black Classicists.” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics 11, no. 3 (2004): 85-102.

Sick, David H. “Alabamian Argonautica: Myth and Classical Education in The Quest of the Silver Fleece.” Classical World 110, no. 3 (2017): 373-397.

Sowers, Brian P. “The Socratic Black Panther: Reading Huey P. Newton Reading Plato.” Journal of African American Studies 21, no. 1 (2017): 26-41.

Upadhyay, Pawan Kumar. “Dynamics of Myth: Negotiating Greek Myth and Black Sensibility in Rita Dove’s Poetry.” The Literary Herald 2, no. 4 (2017): 408-421.

Vandiver, Josh. “Plato in Folsom Prison: Eldridge Cleaver, Black Power, Queer Classicism.” Political Theory 44, no. 6 (2016): 764-796.

Withun, David. “Washington and Du Bois in the Context of Western Thought on Education.” Journal of Faith and the Academy 9, no. 1 (2016): 32–52.