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Meet the first black woman to sell over a million copies of a novel in 1946

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Meet the first black woman to sell over a million copies of a novel in 1946


Her 1946 novel The Street was one of the first to address the experiences of black women in terms of race, gender and class.

Ann Petry’s ground-breaking novel, which was highly praised around the world, would also become the first book by an African-American woman to sell over a million copies.

The Street presented a powerful portrait of the daily life of residents of Harlem in the 1940s, particularly, the effects of bitter racism and sexism on an African-American mother as she tries to offer a better life for herself and her son.

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Pic credit: Burnside Rare Books

“In ‘The Street’ my aim is to show how simply and easily the environment can change the course of a  …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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