(1900-1943): A Bio-Bibliography
Mary Anthony Scally, R.S.M.
Librarian, Mount St. Agnes College
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Louis T. Achille and Ora Mae Lewis
Louis T. Achille
Louis Thomas Achille was born August 31,1909, in Fort-de
France, Martinique, French West Indies. He was educated in
Paris, receiving the degree Licence-es-lettres (anglais) and
Diplome d'e'tudes supe'rieures d'anglais from the University of
He began to write for publication in 1931, and since
that date has been a prolific writer in both French and English.
A militant Catholic, Mr. Achille has not only written directly
upon religious topics, but he has never failed to imbue with
religious principles any piece of writing coming from his pen.
His topics have been chiefly racial problems and French colonial
subjects. At times be has used the pen name Leon Terraud. He has
written for L'appel de la Route, organ of the Compagnons
de St. Francois, Paris; L'Etudiant Martiniquais; La Revue
de Monde Noir; La Revue de L'AUCAM, organ of the Belgian
Association Universitaire Catholique pour L'Aide aux Missions,
Louvaine, Belgium; La Revue Anglo-Americaine.
In 1932 he came to the United States as instructor in
French in the Romance Languages department of Howard University,
later becoming Assistant Professor of French. He was also United
States correspondent of Univers, Lille, France.
Since his residence in this country he has contributed to
numerous magazines and to the Washington Post, Washington
Tribune and the Afro-American.
When he came to the United States, Mr. Achille did not intend
to give up his French citizenship, but the sad fate of France in
the present conflict induced him to become a citizen in the
country of his adoption and he is now on active duty in the
United States Army.
Ora Mae Lewis
Ora Mae Lewis was born March 29, 1918 in New Orleans. Her
father, Nathan Leopold Lewis, was a native of Jamaica, and her
mother Ceceilia Della Atkinson, a New Orleans Creole. Her
paternal grandfather was an educator in the East Indies.
Regarding her ancestry on her mother’s side she states, "My
maternal grandmother claims descent from a daughter of Henry I
of Haiti, and a son of Chief Black Hawk of America, also of a
Moor king in Northern Africa. The only data on the subject is
contained in a letter from a Moor in Africa, asserting his
relationship. And in an old schoolbook of my grandmother’s is
a list of Indian names and birth dates, among which my
grandmother’s name is listed."
Her elementary school education was received at Corpus
Christi School, Valena C. Jones School, and McCarthy Public
School in new Orleans. She attended Albert Wicker PublicHigh
School, and St. Mary's Academy in New Orleans, graduating from
the latter in 1936.
Upon the completion of High School, Ora Mae Lewis secured
employment on the staff of a Negro newspaper in New Orleans, the
Sepia Socialite, for which she wrote serial stories and
short stories, and conducted the columns "Along with
Time," "Downtown," "Big Sister," and
"News and Comments." She was with this paper
periodically from 1936-1941. From July to December, 1939,
she was regularly employed on the staff of The Louisiana
Weekly and conducted the columns "Socially
Speaking" and "The Man on the Street Thinks,"
which aroused much comment. She had been a contributor to the
paper previous to her employment on the staff. During the summer
of 1942, she was employed on the staff of the New
Orleans Sentinel and conducted the column "Heart to
Heart by Cousin Adele," "Jim Crow Checkerboard,"
and "Magazine Page." She also contributed to The
Item Tribune and The Morning Tribune during 1937 and
The literary endeavors of this indefatigable young lady
aroused much interest, the result being the bestowal of a
scholarship to Xavier University by a member of the Hierarchy.
After an interruption of seven years, she resumed her studies,
being classified as a Junior, January 1943, with a major
in English and a minor in Sociology. Her journalistic background
was immediately recognized at Xavier, and she was made
editor-in-chief of the Xavier Herald.
Her mother died when Ora Mae was only seven years old, and
her father later re-married. Ora Mae lives with her grandmother
and great-grandmother, and with them also live her sister and
brother. She wrote stories and poems at an early age, winning a
prize from The Times Picayune in 1927 for the
story "The First Christmas" and having "The Life
of Cotton," a poem, published on "The Young People's
Page" of that paper in 1932. She is a militant
propagandist devoting much of her efforts toward securing
recognition for Negro achievement and equality of opportunity for her race.
She enjoys telling how the issue of Sepia Socialite
containing her story "Black Hands and Yellow Cheeks"
was waved on the floor of the Senate by Senator Ellender during
his heated debate against Negro voting. This is stated in the
Congressional Record. Her stories in Our Sunday Visitor aroused favorable and
unfavorable comment and were the subject of controversy.. In
March 1943, her article "The Historian and Negro
History" was published in The Negro History Bulletin
covering six pages, and a portrait of the author was included.
The article had been submitted six years previous to its
But in addition to her serious articles and short stories on
racial problems. Her output covers everything from recipes in
"Home Hints" and advice to the love-lorn in
"Cousin Adele" and "Big Sister" to letters
to the editor on contemporary problems.
She is absolutely fearless in expressing her opinion. A
Letter to the Archbishop in the Sepia Socialite July
23, 1938, was instrumental in obtaining recognition for Catholic
Negroes during the Eucharistic Congress in New Orleans and a
removal of the barriers of segregation during the time of
Ora Mae Lewis definitely intends to make literature her life
work, but at present is devoting her efforts chiefly to her
college studies. In her free time she is working on an
historical novel of a famous Negro character during the
eighteenth century. Address: 1934 Annette Street, New Orleans,
Bachelor Dean: a gripping story of college life. Sepia
A serial story. Eppy teaches the Dean what matrimony really
means by expounding the true Catholic concept of Christian
Bad grass weeded. The Colored Harvest 31:26
A Josephite with a sense of humor established a church for
the colored Catholics of New Orleans twenty-five years ago. Ora
Mae Lewis tells the story from the point of view of four
children who first met Father when he was cutting down the tall
grass in front of the old house to be used for that purpose.
Beauty. N.O Sentinel 3;6 June 20, 1942.
Behold the black man. Sepia Socialite 1939
The Negro should not resent the epithet "black,"
but should be proud of it. In this series of articles, the
writer advances many excellent reasons with sincere simplicity
A bride’s prayer. Louisiana Weekly 11:8 August
A Carnival kick on the Zulu parade. Sepia Socialite
3: 4 February 10, 1940
Instead of depicting "savages" as representative of
the Negro race as the Zulu parade does, why not depict African
culture which would do credit to the Negro race?
A Catholic Challenges Catholics. Sepia Socialite
2:7 June 3, 1939
An appeal to colored Catholics to exercise initiative in the
use of the educational opportunities they have received, and to
unite in an organization which would make them independent of
Cheated. Sepia Socialite 3;4 January 20, 1940
Short Story. All the leaders of history were not white men.
Creation. New Orleans Sentinel 3;6 June 6, 1942
Creole Sunday. Sepia Socialite 2:15 May 20 - June
Serial article, a combination of fiction and fact, appearing
weekly. Initials for names of real persons, and stories
concerning them true. Catholic in atmosphere and concerned with
the activities of the B.V.M sodality.
The historian and Negro history. Negro Historic
Bulletin 6:134-139 March 43
White historian have erroneously concluded that the Congo has
no past history because of the absence of material progress.
Deeper investigation would reveal evidence of the Negro’s
capacity for will, reason, and endeavor.
Note: This is a short list of Ms. Lewis’
Mary Anthony provides a longer list.
See also the
Ora Mae Lewis
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
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The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of
By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the
rosy picture of race embodied in Barack
Obama's political success and Oprah
Winfrey's financial success, legal
scholar Alexander argues vigorously and
persuasively that [w]e have not ended
racial caste in America; we have merely
redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial
segregation has been replaced by mass
incarceration as a system of social
control (More African Americans are
under correctional control today... than
were enslaved in 1850). Alexander
reviews American racial history from the
colonies to the Clinton administration,
delineating its transformation into the
war on drugs. She offers an acute
analysis of the effect of this mass
incarceration upon former inmates who
will be discriminated against, legally,
for the rest of their lives, denied
employment, housing, education, and
public benefits. Most provocatively, she
reveals how both the move toward
colorblindness and affirmative action
may blur our vision of injustice: most
Americans know and don't know the truth
about mass incarceration—but her
carefully researched, deeply engaging,
and thoroughly readable book should
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The Last Holiday: A Memoir
By Gil Scott Heron
Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio) / Gil Scott-Heron
& His Music Gil Scott
Heron Blue Collar
Remember Gil Scott- Heron
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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered
the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It
By H. W. Brands
In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign. The Economy
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
18 April 2012