African American Studies at Beinecke Library

African American Magician Fetaque Sanders

Posted in announcements, Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on May 30, 2007

A small archive of materials documenting the career of African American Magician Fetaque Sanders, including broadsides, posters, and flyers. Sanders (1915-1992), a Nashville native, toured with the USO during WWII, performing for African American troops in the then-segregated US Armed Forces. After the war, Sanders continued to perform his magic act until 1962. The collection includes 17 illustrated promotional broadsides and flyers [ca. 1940-1960] for: The Fetaque Sanders Magic Show; The Fetaque Sanders Spook Show; Fetaque Sanders’ Magic Book. A detailed record for this collection can be found online at: Collection of Promotional Broadsides for Fetaque Sanders

Images: Collection of Promotional Broadsides for Fetaque Sanders

Welcome Michelle Martin, Betsy Beinecke Shirley Visiting Fellow

Posted in announcements, Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on May 18, 2007

Michelle Martin is an Associate Professor of English at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, where she teaches courses in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Women’s Literature. She is the author of Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Childrens Picture Books, 1845-2002 (Routledge, 2004) and co-editor with Claudia Nelson of Sexual Pedagogies: Sex Education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879-2000 (Palgrave, 2003) . Her current research project, Dream Keepers for Children of the Sun: The Children’s Literature of Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, will offer a critical analysis of the children’s texts of these two well-known authors – a substantial body of literature that has been underappreciated and excluded from both the African American and Children’s Literature canons. A chapter of this work will be published in Jonda McNair and Wanda Brooks’s forthcoming anthology, Embracing, Evaluating and Examining African American Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Professor Martin joins us as the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Visiting Fellow; the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Fellowship in American Children’s Literature honors the renowned collector for whom it is named and celebrates her rich collection of books, manuscripts, and artwork documenting the storied history of children’s literature in the United States.

Image: Shirley Fellow Professor Michelle Martin

Sketchbooks of African American Artist Masood Ali Wilbert Warren

Posted in announcements, Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on May 15, 2007

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters is pleased to announce the acquisition of 7 sketchbooks of drawings by African American artist Masood Ali Wilbert Warren. Warren attended the Art Students League in New York (1932-1935) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in mural painting from New York University in 1939, and a Master of Fine Arts with a major in sculpture at Temple University in 1961. Warren is a celebrated artist and sculptor whose work documenting the daily lives of African Americans in New York City and elsewhere is unparalleled.

The sketchbooks date from the 1930s and 1940s and include hundreds of the artist’s pencil sketches of African American women and men, animals, machinery, and other subjects. Many of the sketches were probably made by Warren when he served as a sergeant in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. Many sketches depict African American soldiers in the then-segregated military. The inside covers of some volumes include holographic inscriptions by Warren in English, Arabic script, and phonetic Arabic. (MM)


Complete records for the Warren sketchbooks can be located in Orbis and the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database: Warren Sketchbooks (3) & Warren Sketchbooks (4)

Images: Warren sketches dated from October 31, 1940, to November 19, 1940 (green volume)

Broadsides in the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection

Posted in announcements, Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on May 7, 2007

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts at Letters at the Beinecke Library includes a rich collection of broadsides, works printed on a single sheet of paper and often intended for easy public distribution. Like its relatives the handbill, poster, and leaflet, a broadside serves as a public broadcast of the text it carries and is often intended to reach a more diverse audience than book publication might allow. Broadsides in the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection include a wide variety of texts, such as political statements, poetry, song lyrics, event announcements, and advertisements; some are illustrated and include striking or provocative images that compliment or contrast with the text. Recently acquired broadsides include those listed below; others can be located in Orbis or the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database.

Recently Acquired Broadsides

Afro-Americans Against the War in Vietnam, “Afro-Americans Against the War in Vietnam asks, Why Did He Die?”, NY: A.A.A.W.V. [1966].

Democratic Party (Ga.), “Colored Voters Read: Here is One Instance of the Treatment the Colored People of Georgia Receive at the Hands of the State Democratic Party,” [Georgia]: [1894].

Two Versions of a Popular Song: “Flip Flap. As Sung by L. Simmons, the Favorite Banjoist,” NY: Wrigley, [no date], and “Flip Flap. As Sung by Frank Lum, the Celebrated Ethiopian Comedian,” NY: Marsan, [1864].

Two Poetry Broadsides: Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), “Assassination” and “Back Home Again (Confessions of an Ex-Executive)” Detroit: Broadside Press, [1967-8].


Jim Crow’s Last Stand, NY: Negro Publication Society, n.d.

Thomas Rice, …50 Verses of Jim Crow…as sung by Mr. Rice, n.d.