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African American Literature, Art, Dating and more

African American writers in the United States can trace their works back to the late 18th century with writers such as Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, acquiring new heights with slave narratives and the Harlem Renaissance, and continue to do so today with authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley.

Among the subjects and issues explored in African American literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African-American culture, racism, slavery, and equality. African American writing has also excelled in sermons, gospel music, blues and rap.

African American art on the other hand is more of a broad term that describes the visual arts of the American black community. Influenced by various cultural traditions, including those of Africa, Europe and the Americas, traditional African American art forms include the range of plastic arts, from basketweaving, pottery and quilting to woodcarving and painting.

As African Americans' place in society changes over the centuries, so, too, have the themes of African American literature. Before the American Civil War, African American literature primarily focused on the issue of slavery, as indicated by the subgenre of slave narratives. At the turn of the 20th century, books by authors such as W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington debated whether to confront or appease racist attitudes in the United States. During the American Civil Rights movement, authors such as Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about issues of racial segregation and black nationalism. Today, however, African American literature has become accepted as an integral part of American literature, with books such as Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Beloved by Toni Morrison achieving both best-selling and award-winning status.

Please enjoy this site which provides you with articles of importance as well as links to African American vendors and merchandise for your convenience.

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