TThe ZORA Canon, our list of the 100 greatest books ever written by African American women, is one of a kind, yet it exists within a rich cultural tradition. As author and New York Times contributing opinion writer Kaitlyn Greenidge notes in “Why We Need to Acknowledge the African American Women’s Canon,” her insightful and moving introduction to the list, Black artists and cultural leaders have been compiling documents of this sort since the 1700s, first as part of an ongoing argument against White supremacy and slavery. Later, during Reconstruction, as a reminder to the newly literate Black population “that they were not alone.” Later still, to catalog the abundance of the Harlem Renaissance (the period that brought us Zora Neale Hurston, for whom ZORA is named). And in contemporary time, less to prove the value of Black women’s voices and their humanity than to “go about challenging the work of figuring out what this space would mean for us.”
Read move over at ZORA.