Celebrating Black History Month in the Romance Languages

Contemporary Black, African, and African diaspora writers across the world are redefining literature and criticism in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Here are some noteworthy books in their original languages recently acquired by the UC Berkeley Library. Translations into English may also be available for some of the better known.


Please also see the related English literatures post for Black History Month 2024 and the Black History at Cal library research guide.

Trial: Caribbean Literature (Digital Collection)

Caribbean lit trial

The Library has a trial to the Caribbean Literature digital collection from Alexander Street Press. The trial will run through October 31st, 2018. If the collection is of interest to you, the Library wants to hear from you! Please send your comments and feedback to sreardon@berkeley.edu.

What You’ll Find:

  • Full-text, digitalized poetry and fiction produced in the Caribbean region, including Barbados, Guyana, Belize, Cuba, Suriname, French Guiana, Haiti, and Jamaica, during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Interviews, photographs, unpublished manuscripts, and archival materials from archives, rare book libraries, local publishing houses, and authors.
  • Texts in English, Spanish, French, Dutch and local languages and dialects, including Papiamento, French Creole, Jamaican Creole, Belizean Kriol, Singlish, and Sranam Tongo. Dictionaries and major reference materials are also available.
  • Authors such as Kwane Dawes (Ghana-Jamaica), George Lamming (Barbados), V. S. Naipaul (Trinidad), Ismith Khan (Trinidad), Jan Carew (Guyana), Alejo Carpentier (Cuba), Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba), Roger Mais (Jamaica), Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), Edgar Mittelholzer (Guyana), Leon Gontran Damas (French Guiana), René Depestre (Haiti), Edgar Cairo (Suriname), Dionne Brand (Trinidad), Jean Rhys (Dominica), Denis Henriquez (Aruba), E. Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados), and Hugo Pos (Suriname).

The UC Berkeley Library also has temporary trials until November 10, 2018 for the following digital collections from Alexander Street:

We encourage and appreciate feedback regarding these trial resources. Please email sreardon@berkeley.edu.