Essay about Black Women 's Literary Renaissance

1697 Words Nov 18th, 2016 7 Pages
African American literature has been sustained by the work of Black women. Their works have center the Black community and the era they were in. From Phyllis Wheatley in the slavery and freedom era to Lorraine Hansberry during the Civil Rights Movement, Black women have a significant role in the literature of the time. As the United States transitioned into the 1970s, a new wave African American literature was born: the Black Women’s Literary Renaissance. Wanting to alter the depictions of Black people, and specifically Black women, Black women writers began taking an intersectional approach in their writings. Led by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, the Black Women’s Literary Renaissance has produced a generation of Black women writers and stories of Black women facing race, gender, and class struggles. These stories, which are reflective of the times, have been met with harsh criticism. Yet, this movement have garnered much success for Black women and is a dominate force in African American literature till this day. Toni Morrison kicked off the Black Women’s Literary Renaissance with The Bluest Eye. In this novel, Morrison discussed racialized beauty standards and sexual violence that plagued Black women. The origins of this novel took root when Morrison was a child. In the foreword of the book, she discusses a childhood friend who told everyone of her dream to have the bluest eyes (Morrison ii). However, as a child Morrison did not understand how this was a byproduct of…

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