The University of Wisconsin Press

Women / Africa / African American Interest / Art

In Praise of Black Women, Volume 2
Heroines of the Slavery Era
Simone Schwarz-Bart with André Schwarz-Bart

With a Foreword by Howard Dobson, Director of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/New York Public Library
Translated by Rose-Myriam Réjouis, Val Vinokurov and Stephanie K. Turner

Heroines of the Slavery Era weaves oral tradition, folk legends and stories, songs and poems, historical accounts, and personal writings from North and South America and the Caribbean, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.

These women of the slavery era include Aqualtune, a princess from Congo enslaved in Brazil and the Caribbean, who led an army of ten thousand warriors in the Battle of Mbwila; Anastasia, an African slave in Brazil, who today is considered the patron saint of Brazil's blacks; Solitude, a slave in the French West Indies, the leader of the survivors of the La Goyave and legendary in Guadeloupe to this day; Phillis Wheatley, a slave in Boston, a child prodigy and brilliant woman whose poetry is among the finest from the early American era; Harriet Tubman, heroine of the Underground Railroad who helped hundreds of other slaves escape to freedom in the United States and Canada; Ellen Craft, a slave who successfully escaped to Philadelphia with her husband; Sojourner Truth, famed orator on behalf of the rights of women and the abolition of slavery; and many others.

"This enchanting work transports the reader back in time and gives a voice to the little-known black women of the past."—Publishers Weekly

"The author of this book, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and the book publisher, Sandrah Monthieux Pélage, have compiled a priceless source of valuable information, which will provide the building blocks for reintroducing the contributions of Black Women to a multitude of fields of study and disciplines."—Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

"New African is proud to recommend to its readers this wonderful tribute to black women"—New African

Simone Schwarz-Bart is the author of six novels and a play, which have been translated and published in many languages; Between Two Worlds and The Bridge of Beyond have been published in English. André Schwarz-Bart is the author of three novels, including Le Dernier des justes (The Last of the Just), which was awarded the 1959 Prix Goncourt and has been translated into twenty languages. Rose-Myriam Réjouis and Val Vinokurov have previously translated two works by French novelist Patrick Chamoiseau: Solibo Magnificent and Texaco. Stephanie K.Turner is completing a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Princeton University, specializing in Francophone literature.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Find out more about other volumes of In Praise of Black Women

In Praise of Black Women Vol. 1
Ancient African Queens

In Praise of Black Women Vol. 3

Modern African Women

Additional information about the French and English Editions
This series originally appeared in French as a six-volume work entitled Hommage à la Femme Noire published in 1988 by Editions Consulaires, with more than 10,000 sets sold. Volume 1 in English combines the French Volumes 1 & 2. Volume 2 in English is a translation of Volume 3 in French. Volume 3 in English is a translation of Volume 4 in French, but also includes new material.

November 2002
LC: 00-012316 HQ
268 pp.   9 x 12  
320 color & b/w illus.

Book icon Cloth OUT OF PRINT
ISBN 978-0-299-17260-2

"Simone Schwarz-Bart’s goal is to rescue and reconstruct the lives of black women world wide. . . . Informative, uplifting, and inspiring!"
—Howard Dodson, director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

"What a beautiful book!!! And three more like this??? We are excited!"

—QBR The Black Book Review

"Visually stunning.... Every page contains high-quality color reproductions, including many full- and double-page spreads, of rarely seen art works and images of African history and culture."
—Library Journal

"This book will be in demand particularly during the months devoted to Black History and Women’s History. An invaluable and fascinating resource."
—School Library Journal


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Updated 4/7/2014

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