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Mon, 07.13.1992

Daughters Of Africa is Published

*Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present is celebrated this date in 1992.

This book is a compilation of orature and literature by more than 200 women from Africa and the African diaspora, edited and introduced by Margaret Busby, who compared the process of assembling the volume to "trying to catch a flowing river in a calabash." It has been adapted for theater globally in many venues.

First published in London and New York, Daughters of Africa, is regarded as a pioneering work, covering fiction, essays, poetry, drama, memoirs, and children's writing with more than 1000 pages in extent. It is arranged chronologically, beginning with traditional oral poetry. It includes work translated from African languages and Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The anthology's title originates from an 1831 declaration by Maria W. Stewart, the first Black woman to give public lectures in America, in which she said: "O, ye daughters of Africa, awake! Awake! Arise! No longer sleep nor slumber but distinguish yourselves. Show forth to the world that ye are endowed with noble and exalted faculties." A companion volume called New Daughters of Africa – with the subtitle "An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent" was published in 2019.

The reissue features further 200-plus contributors from around the world born between the 1790s and the 1990s. This anthology is the Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award for a woman student from Africa.

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