Theme in African American Literature

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Literature ・MLA ・3 Sources

African American prose continues with pre-revolutionary slave stories about emancipation and the abolition of slavery. The restoration era lasted from the end of the civil war until 1919. Arguments were motivated by isolation, execution, resettlement, and the denial of the right to vote to women. African American literature has investigated black democracy, modernist high art, and post-racial distinctness (Sollors 46). Ancient literature mostly focused on the indelible stain of slavery in America, emphasizing malice, shame, and ultimately dehumanization of Africans. Vassal tales are recurring arguments in African American texts assumed in contemporary times by authors. After the civil war, African Americans were freed from slavery but the color line kept them on the sidelines and separated. Rapid industrialization and migration to the west created a sympathetic situation to rediscover their identity. The new Negro movement stressed on prejudice based on militancy in both art and politics. The blue vein society which was made up of white persons who believed that one was considered white if blue veins appeared on the body. The Negros sought to keep out from slavery by learning the Anglo American literature with an aim to demonstrate that they could craft writings that exceeded that of white communities thus attesting to be full and corresponding members of the society (Chestnutt 103). Later they began crafting a segment of inventive literature despite facing criticism from famous members of the white culture. Out of Chestnutt tale of The wife and His youth, Mr. Ryder became a popular man among the blue vein society since he had studied and was even married to a white lady thus breaking the color discrimination that black people suffered. He believed in the absence of race prejudice and the fate of colored people lied between assimilation by white race and disappearance in the black.

Moreover, Negro authors struggled to be recognized and were forced to go through tedious procedures in order to get their work published. They were even forced to follow legal procedures but were rejected because of their skin color thus forcing them to seek publication abroad. Despite the increasing implication of African American prose, black authors shared a general task of representing the Negro race and themselves as well. This helped them create an African American distinctiveness that exceeded the individual level. By humanizing the public Negro mind which was done by Carter G Woodson, writers were able to attest the logical potential of blacks. As a genre, Negro literature gives evidence against African slaves and advocated for their liberation and education in addition to proving that black people were indeed human beings and were not supposed to be confined(Nelson 79).

According to Charles W. Chesnutt who was the first African American author to get his work published, wrote an essay opposing the southern states flourishing events to disfranchise black people in the 20th century. To his disappointment, the new constitution endured numerous appeals to the supreme court of United States whereby conditions were imposed on the voting process, taxation and learning tests applied to all citizens but were applied in favor of the white men. However, some rulings against the state brought new means to enable black people to vote(Chestnutt 61). His main intention was expressing a sensible description of his people and region drawn from an individual understanding. He was concerned with the silence revolving on issues of miscegenation thus hoping to stimulate political discussion through his writing. This was out of his little lenience to the ideology of race pride which segregated colored people from the whites making them feel inferior through oppression and human

Work Cited

Chestnutt, Charles Waddell. The Conjure Woman. Lanham: Dancing Unicorn Books, 2017. Print.

Nelson, Emmanuel S. Ethnic American Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood, 2015. Print.

Sollors, Werner. African American Writing: A Literary Approach. Temple University Press, 2016. Print.

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