Champion of Black Women’s Literature dies of cancer aged 88

By | November 18, 2021

Quandra Prettyman Death – Cause of Death – Quandra Prettyman, champion of Black women’s literature, sadly passed away at the age of 88. She died on the 21st of October 2021 at her home in Manhattan. Prettyman was Barnard’s first Black full-time faculty member, who went extra miles in merging feminist literary studies with a study of Black writers. Prettyman passed away after battling cancer.

She created some of the country’s first courses in Black women’s literature as the first full-time Black faculty member at Barnard College. Prettyman edited “Out of Our Lives: A Selection of Contemporary Black Fiction” (1975), which presented readers with works by then-emerging writers like Louise Meriwether, Ernest J. Gaines and Alice Walker, the New York Times article stated.

In 1963, she married John Stadler; they later divorced. She remarried William L. Smith in 1984 but unfortunately he died in 2016. Along with her sister, she is survived by her daughter, Johanna Stadler; her stepson, Sean Yau-Smith; and her stepdaughter, Michelle DiPalma. She was an amazing personality who made the world a better place with her studies. We extend our condolences.

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said in a tweet; “Our condolences to the family and friends of Quandra Prettyman, who led the way in the study of Black women’s literature. We are honored that she had love for the @CityCollegeNY @CCNYCWE students who she taught over the years.”

Photo Credit – Félix V. Matos Rodríguez