African-American writers are African in origin. Their work is known as African-American literature, which mainly focuses on the themes of slavery, inequality, racism, and their struggle for freedom. While there is a difference between African-American and postcolonial literature, both tend to be associated with the conquest of colonial countries.
African-American literature highlights mainly black people, their culture, and history. This literature is written by African-born people who settled in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. These black writers were sensitive realists who wrote about social issues such as culture, slavery, the struggle for freedom, and the defense of rights. Some popular black writers are:
- Phyllis Wheatley,
- Maya Angelou,
- Frederick Douglass,
- James Baldwin,
- Gwendolyn Brooks,
- Paul Laurence Dunbar,
- Detrick Hughes,
- Charles Richard Johnson,
- Fran Ross,
- Ntozake Shange,
- Toni Morrison, etc.
Characteristics of Black Writers Literature
In the early republic, African-American literature represented a way for free black people to negotiate their new identity in an individualized republic. They often tried to realize their political and social autonomy in the face of resistance from the white public. Thus, the early theme of African-American literature was what it meant to be a citizen in post-revolutionary America. Today, African-American literature has become an integral part of American literature, which reflects all genres of human appreciation.
Oral poetry is the most popular form of cultural literature. It has been firmly anchored for centuries. Black writers’ African oral poetry is distinguished by its simplicity; at the top of it is a rather touching spiritual aspect.
This prose is mostly narratives written by slaves. It has been estimated that 6,000 slaves brought to America tried to write about 150 books in the late 18th century. The Tale of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written in 1845, is the best example of the genre.
It is the blooming of African-American literature and art in the 1920s and 1930s. The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that contributed to the spread of African-American dance, drama, and art in America. Besides, it was the social integration of Africans around the world who get together to rebel against inequality, racial discrimination, and advocate for human rights, etc.
African-American Gospel Music
African-American music has a mixture of different styles of music, it has become popular and active entertainment for all age groups, and has been adopted and incorporated into all types of the music industry. Don’t be shocked if you find out that jazz, hip-hop, rock’n’roll, spiritual, disco and techno, ragtime, blues, house, doo-wop, funk, soul, rhythm, and blues, etc., were the basis for the development of African-American musical gospel.
Black writers literature embodies the meaning of African-American involvement in American society. This literature has contributed to the need of creating equal opportunity and rights for every African-American. Fortunately, all of these wishes were fulfilled by Americans who believed in individual freedom. US former President, Barack Obama, is also an African-American writer. Today his autobiography is a bestseller, translated into many languages. This book is the key to the true voice of equality in America.