Below are writings that provide introductory information about the composers featured on African American Composer Initiative programs.

Arvey, Verna, In One Lifetime, Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1984

A biography of William Grant Still written by his wife and musical collaborator, pianist Verna Arvey
Pool, Jeannie Gayle, American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry, Race and Gender in the 20th Century, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2009.

A thorough discussion of the life and works of Perry, with attention to the political and sociological climate of her time.
Snyder, Jean E., Harry T. Burleigh, From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016
The definitive biography of Burleigh, his life – including important historical context and family history – and his music
Southern, Eileen, The Music of Black Americans, A History, 3rd edition, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

A comprehensive survey of all genres of music by African American musicians.
Still, William Grant, My Life, My Words, Flagstaff, Arizona: The Master Player Library, 2011

A recent publication by writer Judith Anne Still, daughter of William Grant Still and Verna Arvey, based upon writings by her father.
Walker-Hill, Helen, From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007

Begins with an historical overview of the music of African American men and women from the early 17th to the early twenty-first century and presents in-depth biographical and compositional information about several of the women composers performed by aacinitiative: Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Undine Smith Moore, Valerie Capers, Dolores White, and Regina Baiocchi.

John Wesley Work, III American Negro Songs, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1940; republished by Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 1998

John Welsey Work, III Recording Black Culture (CD and extensive liner notes,) Springfed Records, Woodbury, Tennessee