Does African-American Literature Exist?

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Does African-American Literature Exist?
African-American literature can be described in many different ways. According to Gibson, African-American literature should: empower the black community, convey the writer’s thoughts and meaning, and may or may not contain a political message (Gibson). However, in Warren’s piece, “Does African-American Literature Exist?” Warren questions whether there can be any new pieces of African-American Literature. Warren describes African-American literature as writings that depict a time in history. Warren explains that African-American literature is a style of writing that covers the time period where segregation was sanctioned, such as the Jim Crow Era, and compares the style to another time period style of writing
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One author draws on emotion in the lyrical poem, “We Shall Overcome,” to convey the need for social change, while the other author writes an autobiographical sketch, “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow,” to convey a political message that the laws of that era were unjust. However, despite using different techniques and writing styles each author empowered a community to not only dream for change but to demand it in a time that was historically unfair. According to both Gibson and Warren both of these pieces are considered to be African-American literature. Warren insists that African-American literature be written during the time of wide spread African-American oppression, such as the Jim Crow Era that both pieces reference (Warren). Each piece also meets Gibson’s standards that African-American literature must: empower and touch the black community, it must portray the author’s own emotions, or may or may not convey a political message (Gibson). Regardless of how the message is delivered, the important piece to take away from all African-American literature is that change can and will

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