The Essence Book Project

The Essence Book Project

What Is The Essence Book Project?

The Essence Book Project is a computational database of Essence Magazine’s bestsellers’ list for fiction, which was published monthly from 1994-2010 and includes… 

“The Essence Book Project addresses the complicated silences around African American literature published in the last thirty years.”

Related Information

Street Lit as an Economic Backbone of African American Lit: A Data Project

At the 2018 College Language Association (CLA) conference, I presented findings from my Essence Bestsellers digital humanities project. I generated a dataset from… 

The Black Book Interactive Program—Extending the Reach

Hustling Books: Black Independent Publishing in Street Lit

At the precipice of the twenty-first century, Black people experienced a surge in leisure reading that led to re-articulations of Black club women and reading…

The Essence of Operating in the Black

In 2001, the first Apple iPhone and Kindle ( e-book were released; marking a significant digital turn in the ways American literature is packaged…