Autobiographies and Memoirs

Colored People: A Memoir, by Henry Louis Gates, 1995 (reprint edition) 

Gates (b. 1950) wrote about his childhood in Piedmont, WV. His other books can be found on Amazon. He was in the first class to win a MacArthur genius award, won the American Book Award for The Signifying Monkey, and serves as a professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.

Keeping Heart: A Memoir of Family Struggle, Race, and Medicine, by Otis Trotter, introduction by Joe William Trotter, Jr., 2015
Trotter, a retired instructor with the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities and a Certified Independent Provider with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, writes about his life with his parents and thirteen siblings, including their time in West Virginia. He is a brother of Joe W. Trotter, Professor of History and Social Justice at Carnegie Mellon University.

Red, White, Black & Blue: A Dual Memoir of Race and Class in Appalachia, by William M. Drennen Jr. and Kojo (William T.) Jones, Jr., ed. by Dolores Johnson, 2004
This is a collaborative memoir by two men, one European American and one African American, who grew up in the South Hills section of Charleston during the period of desegregation. In editing their work, Johnson, a professor of English at Marshall University, also observed their two very different modes of expression based on their cultural experiences.

Black Days, Black Dust: The Memories of an African American Coal Miner, by Robert Armstead, as told to S.L. Gardner
Described as the first published memoir by an African American coal miner, based on his and his father’s experiences with coal mining in the northern coalfields. Armstead, who died in 1998, went from being a miner to a foreman over predominantly white crews, to a safety inspector. Gardner is a former teacher and librarian who wrote articles for the Fairmont Times West Virginian and had an article on the Armstead family published in Goldenseal Magazine.

. . . to be black in Fayette, by Ancella R. Bickley, 1992 This material was compiled as part of the 1992 Centennial celebration of the Second Baptist Church of Fayetteville, WV.

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