A Brief Discussion on African-American Literature

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The article is a brief discussion about how amidst social oppression, myriads of African American writers eventually succeeded in ushering change in the domain of African American literature.

Submitted: July 04, 2018

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Submitted: July 04, 2018



The emergence, growth and development of the African American literary works should be considered as the outcome of the undue suppression and oppression imposed by the whites. Almost every manifestation of the African American literature has its root in the willingness of the Blacks to overcome the hurdles installed by the white-dominated American society. And this willingness eventually was echoed in the works of eminent thinkers, scholars and social critics, who, despite getting recognition in the mainstream white social culture, never refrained from embracing their rich African heritage.

African American pioneers like Du Bois or Malcolm X changed the entire notion of the black masses and brought forward revolution. The pain and the agony to be found in the works of Douglass or Jacobs are enough to let even a white’s eye shed drops of tears. The reference to color-race-ethnicity in the works of writers like Ralph Ellison can surely make a layman understand about the tragic conditions of the African Americans who experienced the agony of the "double consciousness" perpetuated by the identity crisis that was amplified by discrimination and segregation. The usage of proverbs, aphorisms or Biblical verses by genius like Martin Luther King, Jr. brought a new era for the African American literature and caused a massive change in the African American social, political and economic life.

The essence of cultural reference in milestone works like “The New Negro” by Alain Locke paved the way for the rebirth of the exuberant black legacy and through such writings and by reading works like “The Souls of Black Folks” by Du Bois any individual can understand the immense artistic capacity shining brightly within the dark skinned African Americans.

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