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Shockley, Ann Allen (1927-) | Amistad Research Center

Name: Shockley, Ann Allen (1927-)

Historical Note:

Ann Allen Shockley is a journalist, librarian, bibliographer, and fiction writer. She was educated and served as librarian and archivist at Fisk University. Her publications include a number of works in the area of librarian ship, as well as works of fiction. A predominant theme in her novels and short stories is exploration of Black lesbianism.

Ann Allen Shockley was born 21 June 1927 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Henry and Bessie L Allen, both social workers. Her interest in journalism developed in middle and high school, an interest she continued during her college days. She received her B.A. from Fisk University in 1948 and her Masters of Library Science from Case Western Reserve University in 1959.

Following graduation from Case Western, Shockley completed her first book, A History of Public Library Services to Negroes in the South: 1900-1955. She has held positions in libraries at Delaware State College (1959-1960), the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1960-1969), and Fisk University (1969-1988). In 1988, she retired after 29 years as the associate librarian for special collections and university archivist at Fisk. She also was an associate professor of library science at the university. While at Fisk, she founded the Black Oral History Program, published A Handbook for the Administration of Special Black Collections (1970), and co-edited the Handbook of Black Librarianship (1977).

Shockley's fictional work began in the 1940s with short stories published in newspapers and periodicals. Her novels and short story collections include: Loving Her (1974), The Black & White of It (1980), Say Jesus and Come to Me (1982), and Celebrating Hotchclaw (2005). Shockley received awards both for her writing and for her service to the library profession. She married William Shockley in 1949 and had two children prior to her divorce.

Sources: African American National Biography, Vol. 7. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008): 182-184.
Note Author: Christopher Harter

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