African-American Lit

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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The books wrote by African-Americans have varied throughout the years on subject matter. From cooking books, to books on carpentry, to novels, and poems all with their own style of writing that each subject matter calls for. A closer look and evaluation of these literary pieces shows a vein that runs through all of them, a vein that ties them all together to one period of time in our history.

The years of enslavement in the United States and even before the U.S.

was formed have left a deep impression on how all the preceding black communities behave and how we see ourselves fitting into the rest of society. The earliest books that were wrote by blacks are the slave narratives and some anti-slavery columns in abolitionists newspapers, and they shed light on the conditions of the south and shattered the view of slavery as a symbiotic relationship between kind slave owner and proud happy slaves to pieces.

One such book, "The Incidents in The Life of a Slave Girl"� is an eye opening slave narrative that tells of the many unbelievable hardships that former slave Linda Brent faced during her life. The lies that were told to keep slavery a legal institution where often thoroughly proved lies by these slave narratives, "Slaveholders pride themselves upon being honorable men; but if you were to hear the enormous lies they tell their slaves, you would have small respect for their veracity."�(Brent 42). When post slavery America got to really evaluate and study these writings in contrast to the more recent writings of blacks you still see that underlying tone or meaning.

During the Harlem Renaissance many novels and books were written by black writers, many of which talked of how things are still bad for black people and how we...