Under The Duvet Productions

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SPOTLIGHT: Legendary Black Women in Literature by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

Under The Duvet Productions SPOTLIGHT:  Legendary Black Women in Literature, featuring Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Rita Dove, Sonia Sanchez, and many honorable mentions.

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Dr. Toni Morison, New York, September 12, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

Spotlight Dr. Toni Morrison:

Dr. Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio): A novelist, editor, and professor. Toni won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988; the American Book Award in 1988; recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993; received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2000; the PEN Literary Award in 2008; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012; and listed as “100 Greatest Writers of All Time”. She is America’s only living Nobel Laureate for Literature; and is the first and only African-American woman to receive this honor. In 2005, she wrote the libretto Margaret Garner, an American opera, with music composed by Richard Danielpour. She previously used Margaret Garner as the inspiration for her novel Beloved. Along with her countless bodies of work, her masterpiece novels include The Bluest Eye 1970, Sula 1973, Song of Solomon 1977, Tar Baby 1981, Beloved 1987, Jazz 1992, Paradise 1997, Love 2003, A Mercy 2008, Home 2012, and God Help The Child 2015. She is one of the most decorated living authors worldwide.

Spotlight Dr. Maya Angelou:

Dr. Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928, St. Louis Missouri – May 28, 2014): An author, poet, actress, director, dancer, singer, Grammy Award winner, Tony Award nominee, Multi-Award winner, received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2000, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. Along with her poetry and bodies of work, her autobiographies include I know Why The Caged Bird Sings 1969, Gather Together in My Name 1974, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas 1976, The Heart of a Woman 1981, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes 1986, A Song Flung Up to Heaven 2002, Mom & Me & Mom 2013.

Spotlight Lorraine Hansberry:

Lorraine Hansberry (born May 19, 1930, Chicago, Illinois – January 12, 1965):  A playwright, journalist, writer, and was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. It was her best known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun. The title of the play was taken from the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes. Raisin, a 1973 Musical based on A Raisin in the Sun won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and A Raisin in the Sun 2004 Broadway production received a Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play. Posthumously many of her writings were adapted in into the play To Be Young, Gifted and Black, which was the longest-running Off-Broadway play of the 1968–1969 season; it was also the inspiration to Nina Simone’s song of the same title. In 2013, posthumously she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Spotlight Zora Neale Hurston:

Zora Neale Hurston (born January 7, 1891, Notasulga, Alabama – January 28, 1960): An author, folklorist, and anthropologist who published four novels, and more than fifty short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. New editions of her work were being published after a revival of interest in her in 1975, her manuscript Every Tongue Got to Confess, a collection of folktales gathered in the 1920s, was published in 2001, posthumously after being discovered in the Smithsonian archives.

Spotlight Ntozake Shange:

Ntozake Shange (born Paulette L. Williams; October 18, 1948, Trenton, New Jersey): A playwright , poet, and author. She is best known for her 1974 book and Obie Award winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. The 1976 Broadway production was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 1977. The same year, 1977, it was also nominated for Grammy and Emmy Awards. In 2010 it was made into a movie For Colored Girls by Tyler Perry. Her other bodies of work include Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, Liliane, Betsey Brown; and she is a Multi-Award winner.

Spotlight Alice Walker:

Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944, Putnam County, Georgia):  An author, poet, editor, and activist, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple published in 1982, which she won the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book became a bestseller and was subsequently adapted into a critically acclaimed 1985 movie as well as a 2005 Broadway musical. Her first book of poetry was written while she was a senior at Sarah Lawrence College; later she became an editor and writer at Ms. Magazine. Her first novel was published in 1970, The Third Life of Grange Copeland; followed by Meridian in 1976, poetry, short stories, and more novels. She is the co-founder of Wild Tree Press, a feminist publishing company in California, and a Multi-Award winner.

Spotlight Rita Dove:

Rita Dove (born August 28, 1952, Akron, Ohio): A poet, author, and editor; she served from 1993 to 1995 as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is the first African-American to have been appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986 from the previous “consultant in poetry” position (1937–86). She also received an appointment as “special consultant in poetry” for the Library of Congress’s bicentennial year from 1999 to 2000. In 1987, she became the second African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (Gwendolyn Brooks was the first). She has numerous literary and academic honors, among them 25 honorary doctorates, and received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2011.

Spotlight Sonia Sanchez:

 Sonia Sanchez (born Wilsonia Benita Driver; September 9, 1934, Birmingham, Alabama): A poet and playwright, who has authored numerous books of poetry. She is known for her innovative melding of musical formats, like the blues, and traditional poetic formats Haiku and Tanka. In 1969, she was awarded the PEN Writing Award. She is a Multi-Award winner, including  the American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades in 1985. She became Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate, serving in that position from 2012 to 2014.

All Photographs and Article by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions, NY. All Rights Reserved.

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Dr. Toni Morrison in lecture (joined by Rita Dove, Sonia Sanchez & Ruth Naomi Floyd), Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Toni Morrison autographing her books after her discussion at the New York Public Library (NYPL), moderated by Junot Diaz, New York, December 13, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Toni Morrison in lecture (joined by Rita Dove, Sonia Sanchez & Ruth Naomi Floyd), Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Toni Morrison after her discussion at the New York Public Library (NYPL), moderated by Junot Diaz, New York, December 13, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou at the Café Carlyle, Rosewood Hotel, New York, April 1, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou at ACA Galleries, Chelsea, New York, October 16, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou at the Café Carlyle, Rosewood Hotel, New York, April 1, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou at the Café Carlyle, Rosewood Hotel, New York, April 1, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou with Tony Award winner George Faison and artist Faith Ringgold at ACA Galleries, Chelsea, New York, October 16, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Maya Angelou, the United Nations, New York, 2011. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, celebrity readings, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Ntozake Shange with Cheryl Wills, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, celebrity readings, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Ntozake Shange being interviewed by Cheryl Wills, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, celebrity readings, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Ntozake Shange with Tony Award winner Lillias White, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, celebrity readings, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Dr. Toni Morrison and Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Sonia Sanchez at the “Soul Summit” for the upcoming documentary Mr. SOUL!, New York, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Sonia Sanchez with Umar Bin Hassan & Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets at the “Soul Summit” for the upcoming documentary Mr. SOUL!, New York, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Susan L. Taylor, Dr. Maya Angelou’s granddaughter-in-law, and Rolonda Watts, outside the Sugar Bar, New York, September 12, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Melissa Harris-Perry and Blair Underwood, backstage in his dressing room, A Streetcar Named Desire, Broadhurst Theatre, New York, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Nikki Giovanni speaking at the New York Memorial service for literary legend Dr. Maya Angelou, Riverside Church, New York, September 12, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks with an American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) Member, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess’ Tony Award, New York, June 10, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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A’Lelia Bundles in discussion with Nichelle Gainer for “Between the Lines: Vintage Black Glamour” at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York, January 20, 2015. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Ruby Dee at the Sugar Bar, New York, July 19, 2013. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Soledad O’Brien, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Vision Gala, February 28, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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The Mountaintop by playwright Katori Hall, opening night on Broadway, New York, October 13, 2011. Photograph of director Kenny Leon, Katori Hall, Angela Bassett, and Samuel L. Jackson by Lisa Pacino.

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Cheryl Wills speaking at For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

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Cheryl Wills interviewing Terrie Williams at For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, 40th Anniversary, Harlem Hospital, New York, June 16, 2014. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

Spotlight Authors, Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Journalists, Essayists:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (September 15, 1977): Nigerian Author.
Regina M. Anderson (May 21, 1901 – February 5, 1993): A multi-racial Playwright and Librarian.
Marita Bonner (June 16, 1899 – December 6, 1971): Author, Essayist, and Playwright.
Valerie Boyd (December 11, 1963): Author, Journalist, and Critic.
Gwendolyn B. Bennett (July 8, 1902 – May 30, 1981): Writer and Poet.
Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000): Poet Laureate; she was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950.
A’Lelia Bundles (born June 7, 1952): Author, Journalist, and Emmy Award winner (ABC).
Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006): Author.
Toni Cade Bambara (March 25, 1939 – December 9, 1995): Author, Professor, Documentary Filmmaker, and Activist.
Alice Childress (October 12, 1916 – August 14, 1994): Author, Playwright, and Actress.
Pearl Cleage (born December 7, 1948): Author and Poet.
Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 – February 13, 2010): Poet, Writer, and Educator.
J. California Cooper (November 10, 1931 – September 20, 2014): Playwright and Author.
Marion Vera Cuthbert (1896-1989): Writer and intellectual associated with the Harlem Renaissance.
Clarissa Scott Delany (1901-1927): Poet, Essayist, Educator, and Social Worker.
Angela Davis: (born January 26, 1944): Author, Educator, and Activist.
Ruby Dee (October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014): Poet, Playwright, Screenwriter, Journalist, Actress, and Activist.
Jessie Redmon Fauset (April 27, 1882 – April 30, 1961): Author, Poet, Essayist, and Editor.
Charlotte Forten Grimké (August 17, 1837 – July 23, 1914): Poet, Educator, and Activist.
Nikki Giovanni (born June 7, 1943): Author, Educator, and Activist.
Jewelle Gomez (born 1948): Author, Poet, and Playwright.
Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958): Poet, Journalist, Playwright, and Teacher.
Katori Hall (born May 10, 1981): Playwright, Journalist, and Actress.
Frances Harper (September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911): Author, Poet, and Abolitionist.
Melissa Harris-Perry (October 2, 1973): Author, Professor, and Television Host.
Ariel Williams Holloway (1905–1973): Poet, Educator, and Musician.
Bell Hooks (born September 25, 1952): Author and Activist.
Pauline Hopkins (1859 – August 13, 1930): Author, Journalist, Playwright, Historian, and Editor.
Harriet Ann Jacobs (February 11, 1813 – March 7, 1897): Writer and Abolitionist.
Georgia Douglas Johnson (September 10, 1880 – May 14, 1966): Poet, and one of the earliest African-American female Playwrights.
Helene Johnson (July 7, 1906 – July 6, 1995): Poet, and the cousin of author Dorothy West.
Gayl Jones (born November 23, 1949): Author, Poet, Playwright, and Professor.
Elizabeth Keckley (February 1818 – May 1907): Author and Activist,
Nella Larsen (April 13, 1891 – March 30, 1964): Author.
Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992): Author, Poet, and Activist.
Paule Marshall (born April 9, 1929): Author.
Terry McMillian (born October 18, 1951): Author.
May Miller (January 26, 1899 – February 8, 1995): Poet, Playwright, and Educator.
Anne Moody (September 15, 1940 – February 5, 2015): Author and Activist.
Gloria Naylor (born January 25, 1950): Author.
Alice Dunbar Nelson (December 4, 1864 – September 11, 1935): Poet, Journalist, and Activist.
Effie Lee Newsome (1885–1979): Writer, Poet, and Librarian .
Lynn Nottage (born November 2, 1964): Playwright.
Soledad O’Brien (born September 19, 1966): Emmy Award winning Journalist and Producer.
Suzan-Lori Parks (born May 10, 1963): Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright and Screenwriter.
Ann Petry (October 12, 1908 – April 28, 1997): Author who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street in 1946.
Esther Popel (1896-1958): Poet, Writer, Educator, and Activist.
Eulalie Spence (June 11, 1894 – March 7, 1981): Writer, Playwright, Teacher, Director, and Actress.
Anne Spencer (February 6, 1882 – July 27, 1975): Poet and Activist.
Maria W. Stewart (1803 – February 6, 1880): Journalist, Lecturer, Abolitionist, and Activist.
Susan L. Taylor (born January 23, 1946): Journalist, Writer, and Editor.
Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883): Author, Activist, and Abolitionist.
Margaret Walker (July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998): Author and Poet.
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931): Journalist, Editor, Suffragist, Sociologist, and Activist.
Dorothy West (June 2, 1907 – August 16, 1998): Author.
Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784): Poet, who was the first published African-American woman and second published African-American Poet in America in 1773.
Isabel Wilkerson (1961): Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist.
Sherley Anne Williams (August 25, 1944 – July 6, 1999): Author, Poet, Professor, and Critic.
Terrie Williams (May 12, 1954): Author, Publicist, and Speaker.
Cheryl Wills: Author and News Anchor.
Harriet E. Wilson (March 15, 1825 – June 28, 1900): Author, who is considered the first female African-American novelist, as well as the first African-American of any gender to publish a novel on the North American continent in 1859.
Oprah Winfrey (born January 29, 1954): Author, Book Club Host, Television Host, Producer, and Actress. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013; and is ranked the richest African-American of the 20th Century. She is the first self-made woman to become a billionaire in America.
The names above are in alphabetical order; there are many more authors, novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, and essayists who have made a extraordinary contributions to the literary and journalism world. I had the pleasure to photograph many of these extraordinary women in this article. Above I have included a small handful of random photographs of countless I have taken. Below is a “retrospect” of older photographs via the internet.

 Website:

http://lisapacino.smugmug.com/

A Retrospect:

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Dr. Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, New York. Photo via Internet.

TONI & Angela Davis March 28, 1974

Dr. Toni Morrison and Angela Davis, New York, March 28, 1974. Photograph by Jill Krementz via Internet.

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Dr. Toni Morrison, Princeton University, New Jersey. Photo via Internet.

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Dr. Toni Morrison reading her recipient letter from the Noble Prize committee with her colleagues, Princeton University, New Jersey, 1993. Photo via Internet.

MAYA James Baldwin and his mother Emma Berdis Jones at Baldwin's sixtieth birthday party in Amherst, 1984-- fixed

Dr. Maya Angelou with James Baldwin and his mother Emma Berdis Jones at Baldwin’s 60th birthday party in Amherst, Massachusetts, 1984. Photo via Internet.

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Dr. Maya Angelou with Betty Shabazz, New York. Photo via Internet.

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Photo via Internet.

Lorraine Hansberry 8 FIXED

Lorraine Hansberry, New York. Photo via Internet.

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Lorraine Hansberry, New York. Photo via Internet.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston. Photo via Internet.

ntozake shange-2

Ntozake Shange. Photo via Internet.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker. Photo via Internet.

RITA DOVE #2

Rita Dove. Photo via Internet.

SONIA SANCHEZ

Sonia Sanchez. Photo via Internet.

ANGELA DAVIS -

Angela Davis. Photo via Internet.

1 Toni Cade Bambara FIXED

Toni Cade Bambara. Photo via Internet.

Audre Lourde 1987 Staten Island

Audre Lorde. Photo via Internet.

Gwendolyn brooks... -1963

Gwendolyn Brooks, 1963. Photo via Internet.

Gwendolyn-Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks and her book. Photo via Internet.

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson. Photo via Internet.

Harriet E. Wilson

Harriet E. Wilson. Photo via Internet.

Phillis Wheatley FINAL

Phillis Wheatley book with drawing. Photo via Internet.

Ann Petry

Ann Petry. Photograph by Edna Guy via Internet.

Ida Bell Wells-Barnet 2 FIXED

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett. Photo via Internet.

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