Covers from the Sergeon Collection: Their Eyes Were Watching God and Invisible ManGlen Sergeon (1949-2013) was born in Vauxhall, N.J. and graduated from the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University in 1972. While at Drew, Sergeon participated in the London and Washington semesters, and became president of Hyera, the black student association. He attended the London School of Economics and received a Master in Public Policy degree from the University of Wisconsin. A successful businessman and philanthropist, he spent nearly fifteen years in various roles at Citicorp, before joining Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. He held board positions at Phipps House, The Spence School and New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

The Glen Sergeon Collection of African American literature comprises 75 volumes in a range of genres by leading black writers of the 20th century. Major figures of the Harlem Renaissance include Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Ethel Waters and Richard Wright. Among the many novelists and poets represented are James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Paule Marshall, James Alan McPherson, Ishmael Reed, Sapphire, Derek Walcott, Charles Wright and Al Young, often with signed copies of their works. There are memoirs, biographies, interviews, anthologies of black writers (some signed by their contributors), and studies of black culture. The collection also includes nearly thirty works of fiction and non-fiction (with uncorrected proofs for four novels) by John Alfred Williams, who became a personal friend of Sergeon, as did poet Lucille Clifton. Twenty-nine volumes are inscribed to Burt Britton, co-founder of Books & Company in Manhattan, and collector of self-portraits by authors, artists, actors and musicians.

View a finding aid of the books in the Sergeon Collection

The Sergeon Collection is part of Julia E. Baker Rare Book Collection and can be searched using the online catalog.