West Virginia University Press is pleased to announce the publication of “A Nickel and A Prayer,” the latest book in its “Regenerations: African American Literature and Culture” series.

A Nickel and A Prayer is the autobiography of Jane Edna Hunter, a virtually unknown, yet highly influential African-American social activist of the early-to-mid-20th Century. First published in 1940, this autobiography presents an enlightening two-part narrative that recollects Hunter’s formative years in the post-Civil War South and her activist years in Cleveland, Ohio.

It recalls a childhood filled with the pleasures and pains of family life on the former plantation where her ancestors had toiled, adventures and achievements in schools for African American children, tests and trials during her brief marriage, and recognition and respect while completing nursing training and law school.

When sharing the story of her life as an activist, Hunter describes the immense obstacles she overcame while developing an interracial coalition to support the Phillis Wheatley Association and nurturing its growth from a rented home that provided accommodations for 22 women to a nine-story building that featured 135 rooms.

This new and annotated edition of “A Nickel and A Prayer” includes the final chapter, “Fireside Musings,” that Hunter added to the second, limited printing of her autobiography and an introduction that lauds her as a multifaceted social activist who not only engaged in racial uplift work, but impacted African-American cultural production, increased higher education opportunities for women, and invigorated African-American philanthropy. This important text restores Jane Edna Hunter to her rightful place among prominent African-American leaders of the 20th Century.

Jane Edna Hunter (1882-1971) founded the Phillis Wheatley Association, an organization that offered housing, job training, and recreational activities to thousands of black women and girls who sought better opportunities in the North during the Great Migration. She gained recognition through her work at the association, National Association of Colored Women, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Ohio State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, and the Republican Party.

Rhondda Robinson Thomas, who edited the book, is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, where she teaches African American and Early American Literature.

“Regenerations: African American Literature and Culture” is devoted to the reprinting of editions of important African-American texts that have fallen out of print or have failed to receive due attention. This series encourages regional and local research that develops and extends the understanding of African-American literary and cultural history. This series is co-edited by John Ernest of West Virginia University and Joycelyn K. Moody of University of Texas at San Antonio.

Visit www.wvupress.com to purchase Nickel and a Prayer and to learn more about this book and series.

“A Nickel and A Prayer” by Jane Edna Hunter/Edited by Rhondda Robinson Thomas
PB 978-1-933202-64-8: $22.95

For more information on this series or book or to arrange publicity, please contact Abby Freeland, marketing manager at the WVU Press, at (304) 293-8400 ext. 33508 or abby.freeland@mail.wvu.edu.


CONTACT: Abby Freeland, marketing manager at the WVU Press
304-293-8400 ext. 33508, abby.freeland@mail.wvu.edu.

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