William Wells Brown, Frances E.W. Harper, and Charles W. Chesnutt, three black writers who bore witness to the experience of their people under slavery, create a portrait of black life in the 19th century in these three novels.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is editor in chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center and of the daily online magazine The Root. He has received more than forty honorary degrees from institutions the world over.
About Charles Chesnutt
CHARLES WADDELL CHESNUTT (1858–1932) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He drew on his experiences as a biracial American to address racial passing in his classic novel The House Behind the Cedars. Earning a living as a court stenographer and lawyer, Chesnutt supported a writing career that included the publication of numerous short stories and the completion of several other novels, some of which were considered too incendiary to be printed during his time. An active integrationist and civil rights leader, he was awarded a medal by the NAACP for distinguished literary contributions.
Three Classic African-American Novels by William Wells Brown, Frances E. W. Harper, and Charles W. Chesnutt Edited and with an Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.