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Timeline Series—African American Novel History

[By Kenton Rambsy]
The importance of chronology of African American literary history
has become all the more important to me after viewing “The Timeline of African American Poetry.” My older brother, an associate professor of African American literature
and director of Black Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville,
recently compiled a timeline of significant events in African American poetry
that spans from 1854 to 2012.
My work with the HBW deals with the recovery of African
American novels, so naturally, I followed his lead and created a timeline. Over
the next week, I have partnered with Howard to create a series of entries that
highlights significant events in African American novel history.

These series of timelines by no means seeks to be an
exhaustive history of black novel history. Instead, these chronologies serve as
an attempt to make information about African American history accessible
through the internet.
The concept of digital humanities and some of its practical
applications to the study of English and History have driven much of my work
with the HBW. In fact, I always find myself engaging in conversations about the
possible ways presenting information and “new discoveries” in the field of
African American literature can be helpful to wider ranging audiences. These
series of timelines serve as one possible way to create/build upon knowledge
about black novels.