Does African American Literature Exist? Essay

800 Words Feb 16th, 2016 4 Pages
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 such as Elizabethan literature which described a period in England’s history (Warren). Two pieces we have read this semester that can be described as African-American literature by both authors’ standards are the works by Meeropol and Wright. In the poem, “We Shall Overcome,” by Abel Meeropol, written during the 1930’s, the author expresses her hope for social change. Wright also wrote during the Jim Crow Era of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Many of his pieces contained a political outlook on the Jim Crow laws and the affect they had on the African-American community (Gates, Jr. and Smith). While each author’s motivation for writing and style of writing are different both literary pieces have had the power to encourage the…

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