Best African American Literature in 2022

Influences of African American Literature

African American Literature has been written by black writers throughout the world for over two hundred years. The influences of African Americans on genre fiction, slavery and civil rights are too numerous to mention here. However, there are some noteworthy examples. This article will examine some of them. Let's start with the Harlem Renaissance. This period, which is credited to the birth of the black arts movement, saw some of its greatest achievements. Also, it provided the foundation for many subsequent literary movements.


The influence of African American literature in the history of literature is evident from its varied subjects, such as race, education, vernacular, and class. The Harlem Renaissance has a long history of overcoming negative stereotypes and creating works that are worthy of reading. The Harlem Renaissance in literature is a great example of the power of African American culture. The authors of this period utilized their unique writing styles to convey the ethos of racial pride and the spirit of community.

Some of the early works of African American authors include works by Phillis Wheatley, a poet from the eighteenth century, whose poetry embodies the beginning of African American authorship. The poetry she wrote was a pioneering contribution to black literary culture, coming more than a hundred years before works by Jacobs, Wilson, and others. Unlike these later writers, Wheatley's poetry was simple and uncomplicated.

While the early works of African American literature were socio-political in nature, the later Neorealism Movement focused on the art and realism of the African experience. Contemporary African American literature, in contrast, explores a wide range of subjects, including black identity, feminism, and family heirlooms. For instance, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" are two prominent works of African American literature.

The Protest Movement fueled the writing of Harlem writers. Their realist, politically-charged style reflected the psychological aspects of characters and had more specific socio-political implications. "Sonny's Blues" reflects class, integration, urban life, and the illusion of American ideals. The novel's realism reflects the struggles of a Black community, and in this way, African American literature has helped reshape the identity of Black people in America.

The collection of African American books and photographs is named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and is located at Yale University's Howard Library. Wesley's work has made history by expanding the definition of "literary work" to include African American works. A long-time reader of literary works has a greater understanding of the world, and can empathize with characters who have different lives from their own. The collection of African American literature should be celebrated year-round, and it shouldn't end in March.

Influence on genre fiction

The influence of African American literature on genre fiction can be seen in the works of writers like David Anthony Durham, Karen E. Quinones Miller, Tayari Jones, Kalisha Buckhanon, ZZ Packer, and Colson Whitehead. African American authors have also crossed over into the genre in other ways. In the 19th century, a woman named Mary Weston Fordham wrote a collection of poems called Magnolia Leaves, which included feminism and spiritual themes. Her novel also inspired later crime fiction writers, such as Walter Mosley and Hugh Holton.

The African American experience influenced the development of slave narratives, which first appeared in the middle of the 19th century. In these works, fugitive slaves would describe life in the South and their own human nature. The conflict over slavery prompted much eloquent literature on both sides of the debate. Harriet Beecher Stowe's book Uncle Tom's Cabin is a classic example of this.

The Harlem Renaissance influenced the work of African Americans in genre fiction. Aside from the cultural and social aspects of African American literature, the black community was also experiencing a booming economy. However, despite the great economic and social problems of the time, African American writers remained committed to writing about the struggles of the people in the south. In addition, they embraced an underlying realism that was not influenced by Western culture.

Other writers influenced by African American literature include Sterling A. Brown. His collection of poems, "Southern Road," reintroduced the rural south to the literary conversation. In addition to depicting the dignity and plight of poor African American country folk, Brown wrote in both standard English and dialect. In addition, many of his poems resorted to using African American folklore and work songs.

The first novel by an African American author published in Britain, "Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man," was published in the United Kingdom. It explores the conflicts in the protagonist's mind and character, and is considered a modernist classic. Although it is a historical novel, it uses prose, poetry, and play-like passages of dialogue to portray the lives of African Americans.

Influence on slavery

The influence of African American literature on slavery has a long and storied history. African-American literature, which dates back to the first arrival of African slaves in the New World in 1639, has dealt with slavery in a variety of ways. Before the Civil War, this literature focused mainly on slave narratives and the practice of slavery. It later turned to issues of racial segregation and black nationalism in the post-Civil War period.

During this period, published narratives involving the life of slaves became popular. Abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, promoted the sale of these narratives. Works by Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown, as well as the autobiography of Oluadah Equiano, have incorporated slave narratives into their stories. Invisible Man, by Toni Morrison, is another example of this phenomenon.

While slavery narratives often depicted life as a trial, many of them used these accounts to validate their experiences as slaves and to convince the nation that the slaves had escaped the practice. The best-known example of this new kind of narrative is Booker T. Washington's autobiography Up from Slavery, which uses many of Douglass's conventions while transforming the experience of slavery into a rags-to-riches American success story.

Despite the historical and social context of these texts, the most important influence on the history of slavery came from the narratives of former slaves. First-person accounts of life under slavery were the most effective tools in the fight against slavery. In fact, more than 70 African American authors had published narratives about their lives prior to the Civil War, and hundreds more were published in periodicals in the United States and throughout Europe. Many of these books went through multiple editions and sold thousands of copies.

Frederick Douglass, another prominent African-American of his time, is considered the most influential slave narrative of all time. He was born into slavery in Maryland, but escaped from it and rewrote his life in the form of an autobiography that was published in 1845. It was an instant bestseller, and some critics questioned whether a black man could write such a compelling work. However, it was a critical work that shifted the course of history.

Influence on civil rights

The Influence of African American Literature on Civil Rights can be traced to W.E.B. Du Bois, an American sociologist and author who advocated a reduction of racism in society. He published 14 essays in 1903, which helped activate the Harlem Renaissance. His work was influential, not only for its cultural significance, but also for its eloquence and the way he portrays African Americans.

The impact of African American literature on civil rights is primarily due to the way it depicts the experiences of African Americans in the United States. Du Bois's Equal Rights and Harlem: Stories of Black Life in the United States challenged the equality proposition proposed by Booker T. Washington, and he identified racism as the defining evil of the 20th century. His essays emphasized the importance of voting and civil rights, and he described African Americans as forming a "double consciousness."

The influence of African American literature on civil rights can be seen in the works of many famous authors. Gwendolyn Brooks, for instance, was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Annie Allen. Others, such as Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni, were prominent poets during the Civil Rights period. These works were critical of racism in the United States and reflected the views of African Americans.

Historically, the Harlem Renaissance gave African American authors a voice, and it led to renewed social and self-identity. During the Civil Rights Movement, African American authors wrote both fiction and non-fiction works about racism and racial segregation. During the era of World War II, African Americans developed an awareness of their own worth, and their experiences were reflected in their works.

A few notable African American writers shaped the Civil Rights Movement, from the early works of Jim Crow to the work of Margaret Walker. In particular, Harper's novel "Jubilee" (1843) is an important example of the early influence of African American literature on civil rights. It highlights the plight of mixed-race children in antebellum America. The novel also addresses themes of racism and women's empowerment.

Katie Edmunds

Sales Manager at TRIP. With a background in sales and marketing in the FMCG sector. A graduate from Geography from the University of Manchester with an ongoing interest in sustainable business practices.

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