A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories Hardcover – October 9, 2018 ($19.95)

By Bettye Collier-Thomas (Editor) A collection of Christmas stories written by African-American journalists, activists, and writers from the late 19th century to the modern civil rights movement.Back in print for the first time in over a decade, this landmark collection features writings from well-known writers and activists such as Pauline Hopkins, Ida B. Wells, and Langston Hughes, along with gems from rediscovered writers. Written by and about African-Americans and containing little-known stories and poems dating from the late nineteenth century to the 1950s, this collection reflects the Christmas experiences of everyday African-Americans and addresses familial and romantic love, faith, and more serious topics such as racism, violence, poverty, and racial identity. This new

edition will feature the best stories and poems from previous editions along with new material including “The Sermon in the Cradle” by W.E.B. Du Bois Editorial Reviews


“I remember when I first picked up Bettye Collier-Thomas’s lovely collection of African American Christmas stories over two decades ago. My daughter was seven at the time and the book was like a dream come true. Here was a veritable who’s who of Black writers, whose powerful stories and poems ran the gamut of literary expressions—from the tragic to the comic, fables to romance. A book for all seasons, these stories are bound to amuse, educate, and inspire all kids, from one to ninety-two.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams

From the Inside Flap

Bettye Collier-Thomas’s acclaimed A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories introduced modern readers to long-lost Christmas classics from the turn of the century. Now this second collection of stories extends our knowledge of the African-American literary tradition as it resurrects the writings of once well-known black writers, journalists, and political activists such as Pauline Hopkins, Augustus Hodges, and John Henrik Clarke, as well as obscure figures such as Lelia Plummer, J. B. Howard, and Bruce Reynolds.

With stories dating from the late nineteenth century through the Depression era, this collection reflects the Christmas experiences of everyday African-Americans and demonstrates the changing values and social issues that concerned the African-American community during World War I and the Depression, particularly the re-emergence of the KKK after the war. The stories told here address universal themes of love, religion, and the existence of Santa Claus as well as more somber topics such as racial injustice, violence, poverty, and racial identity.

In Carrie Jane Thomas’s 1885 piece “A Christmas Story”, Santa Claus is a force for good. Fifty years later, Langston Hughes’s story “One Christmas Eve” and John Henrik Clarke’s “Santa Claus Is a White Man” break down traditional Christmas themes by stripping away the veneer of jolly old Saint Nicholas to expose the racist and un-Christian views that predominated in the white South during the 1930s. Reflecting another view altogether, in Mary Jenness’s 1927 poem “A Carol of Color”, Jesus is a black man.

This second volume of A treasury of African-American Christmas Stories is a perfect companion to the well-received first collection of stories.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (October 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807027839