In Praise of Black Women is a magnificent tribute to women in Africa and the African diaspora from the ancient past to the present. Lavishly illustrated, with text written and selected by the celebrated Guadeloupian novelist Simone Schwarz-Bart, this four-volume series celebrates remarkable women who distinguished themselves in their time and shaped the course of culture and history.
Volume 1: Ancient African Queens weaves together oral tradition, folk legends and stories, songs and poems, historical accounts, and travelers’ tales from Egypt to southern Africa, from prehistory to the nineteenth century. These women rulers, warriors, and heroines include Amanirenas, the queen of Kush who battled Roman armies and defeated them at Aswan; Daurama, mother of the seven Hausa kingdoms; Amina Kulibali, founder of the Gabu dynasty in Senegal; Ana de Sousa Nzinga, who resisted the Portuguese conquest of Angola; Beatrice Kimpa Vita, a Kongo prophet burned at the stake by Christian missionaries; Nanda, mother of the famous warrior-king Shaka Zulu; and many others.
These extraordinary women's stories, narrated in the style of African oral tradition, are absorbing, informative, and accessible. The abundant illustrations, many of them rare archival images, depict the diversity among Black women and make this volume a unique treasure for every art lover, every school, and every family.
About the Author
Simone Schwarz-Bart is the author of six novels and a play, which have been translated and published in many languages; Between Two Worlds and The Bridge of Beyond have been published in English. André Schwarz-Bart is the author of three novels, including Le Dernier des justes (The Last of the Just), which was awarded the 1959 Prix Goncourt and has been translated into twenty languages. Rose-Myriam Rejouis and Val Vinokurov have previously translated two works by French novelist Patrick Chamoiseau into English: Solibo Magnificent and Texaco. They translated In Praise of Black Women with Stephanie Daval. Howard Dodson is director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.