Beacon Press: A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories
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A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories

Editor: Bettye Collier-Thomas

An Esquire “Best Christmas Book to Read During the Holidays”

A collection of Christmas stories written by African-American journalists, activists, and writers from the late 19th century to the modern civil rights movement.

Back in print for the first time in over a decade, this landmark collection features writings from well-known black writers, activists, and visionaries such as Pauline Hopkins, Langston Hughes, and John Henrik Clarke along with literary gems from rediscovered writers. Originally published in African American newspapers, periodicals, and journals between 1880 and 1953, these enchanting Christmas tales are part of the black literary tradition that flourished after the Civil War.

Edited and assembled by esteemed historian Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, the short stories and poems in this collection reflect the Christmas experiences of everyday African Americans and explore familial and romantic love, faith, and more serious topics such as racism, violence, poverty, and racial identity. Featuring the best stories and poems from previous editions along with new material including “The Sermon in the Cradle” by W. E. B. Du Bois, A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories celebrates a rich storytelling tradition and will be cherished by readers for years to come.
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“If you’re lured in by writers you know and love, like Langston Hughes and W .E. B. Du Bois, go ahead and get comfortable, because you’re bound to discover so many more.”

“One of the greatest Christmas gifts ever was the one given on Christmas Day: to bid us free to become better human beings. There will be for quite some time the question of how well we have used that gift. Some have used it to keep others down; some have used it as an excuse for plunder and mayhem; some have used it as a basis for love and forgiveness. A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories gives us all the gift of engaging our hearts and minds in the true stories of Christmas.”
—Nikki Giovanni

“I remember when I first picked up Bettye Collier-Thomas’s lovely collection of African American Christmas stories over two decades ago. My daughter was seven at the time and the book was like a dream come true. Here was a veritable who’s who of Black writers, whose powerful stories and poems ran the gamut of literary expressions—from the tragic to the comic, fables to romance. A book for all seasons, these stories are bound to amuse, educate, and inspire all kids, from one to ninety-two.”
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams

Note to Readers


The Sermon in the Cradle
W. E. B. Du Bois

A Carol of Color
Mary Jenness

The Christmas Reunion Down at Martinsville
Augustus M. Hodges

The Children’s Christmas
Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar

Christmas Eve Story
Fanny Jackson Coppin

Mollie’s Best Christmas Gift
Mary E. Lee

A Christmas Story
Carrie Jane Thomas

Fannie May’s Christmas
Katherine Davis Tillman

Elsie’s Christmas
Salem Tutt Whitney

General Washington: A Christmas Story
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins

The Autobiography of a Dollar Bill
Lelia Plummer

Mirama’s Christmas Test
Timothy Thomas Fortune

A Christmas Party That Prevented a Split in the Church
Margaret Black

Three Men and a Woman
Augustus M. Hodges

It Came to Pass: A Christmas Story
Bruce L. Reynolds

A Christmas Journey
Louis Lorenzo Redding

Uncle U.S. Santa Claus
James Conway Jackson

The Devil Spends Christmas Eve in Dixie
Andrew Dobson

One Christmas Eve
Langston Hughes

Santa Claus Is a White Man
John Henrik Clarke

Merry Christmas Eve
Adele Hamlin

White Christmas
Valena Minor Williams


A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories

ISBN: 978-080702783-7
Publication Date: 10/9/2018
Size:5.5 x 7.25 Inches (US)
Price:  $19.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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