Henry Louis Gates Jr., co-editor, is the Alphonse Fletcher
University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for
African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy
Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural
critic, and institution builder, Gates has authored or coauthored
twenty-one books and created fifteen documentary films. He is the
editor of two other volumes in the Library of America series,
Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies and, with William L.
Andrews, Slave Narratives.
Paul Devlin, co-editor, teaches English at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has published essays and criticism in many periodicals. He is the editor of Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues (2016) and Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, as told to Albert Murray (2011), a finalist for the Jazz Journalists Association's book award.
"Albert Murray's best nonfiction has been gathered in a plump and
welcome volume from the Library of America. . . . His writing about
racism can prickle your skin. . . . To paraphrase Murray's praise
of Ellison's Invisible Man, reading this book is like
watching someone take a 12-bar blues song and score it for a full
orchestra." - Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"Murray - renaissance man, blues philosopher, resolute non-victim - was almost criminally overlooked in the previous century. Perhaps this was because he was constitutionally incapable of suffering fools of any complexion and insisted on pointing out the most elemental truths: 'The United States is in actuality not a nation of black people and white people. It is a nation of multicolored people,' Murray notes in his masterpiece, The Omni-Americans. We are in desperate need of such lucidity. If the arc of the intellectual universe also bends towards justice, then the Library of America's canonization will resituate Murray alongside contemporaries James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison." -New York Magazine "100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century"