Anne C. Bailey is a writer, historian, and a tenured professor of History and Africana Studies at SUNY Binghamton (State University of New York). In her work, she combines the elements of travel, adventure, history, and an understanding of contemporary issues, with an accessible style. Her works range from adult non-fiction to children’s historical fiction, and include African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame, (Beacon Press, 2005) You Can Make A Difference: The Story of Martin Luther King Jr., and Return to the Cave of Time. (Bantam/Doubleday/Dell) She is currently finishing two book projects: The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History and Back to the Future: The Jamaican Diaspora in a Globalized World.
Bailey has given presentations all over the world at schools, universities, and historical organizations, including a historic reading at the first conference of “Black Writers in Paris.” There she shared the stage with Paule Marshall, Louise Meriweather, and Ishmael Reed. She has also been a guest on several television and radio shows such as TheTavis Smiley Show and National Public Radio (NPR).
Bailey takes readers on a journey that spans many countries and several continents. Born in Jamaica to William and Daphne Bailey, her work has been informed by extended stays in Paris, London, and West Africa. After immigrating to New York City where she attended high school, she studied English and French at Harvard University and later got her Ph.D. in African History and African Diaspora Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Bailey is committed to a concept of “living history” in which events of the past are connected to current and contemporary issues. She is also concerned with the reconciliation of communities after age old conflicts like slavery, war, and genocide. This is best evidenced in her recent non-fiction book, African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame (Beacon Press). The book captures African memories of the slave trade – a rich yet largely neglected source of information on this important era. African chiefs and other elders share stories that reveal the experience of Africans as victims of the trade as well as traders. At the same time, African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Tradebridges the gap between Africa and the African Diaspora in tackling issues from trade operations on the continent to redress for African descendants.
Bailey’s activities as an educator have also shaped her life and work. These include her tenure as Executive Director for the Albert G. Oliver Program, a New York based non-profit that provides scholarships for minority children, and her work as a Visiting Professor of History at Rutgers University, Bryn Mawr College, Cambridge College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. She was also a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Afro-American Studies in 2000.
Influenced by writers as diverse as Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, W.E. B. Dubois, Alex Haley, and C.S. Lewis, Bailey’s aim is to combine an accessible writing style and a global perspective with a knowledge of history. Bailey lives in upstate New York with her son, Mickias Joseph.