African American Literature Paper - Running head AFRICAN...

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Running head: AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE PAPER 1 African American Literature Paper Teray R Harris February 1, 2016 Eng/301 Zeke Jarvis
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE PAPER 2 The African American gained their voice when slavery was finally abolished. The works represented in this paper are indicative to the transformation of this voice from infancy to maturity. Themes and literary conventions provide a deeper understanding to the works. Historical, socio-political, and cultural events that influenced each of the texts tell the tale of how the African American’s voice grew in strength. The first text is from "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave" by Frederick Douglass. This is from the Antebellum time period where the abolition literature started to have momentum; the African Americans started to speak out. The second text is from “To my old Master” by Jourdan Anderson. This is from the Reconstruction Period where literature liberated the lives of African Americans; the African Americans started to have their say. The third text is "The Song of the Smoke" by W. E. B. Du Bois. This is from the Harlem Renaissance, or the New Negro Movement, where racial pride was at the forefront; the African Americans embraced their color and started to shout (Zeke Jarvis/University of Phoenix, 2016). The fourth text is “Willie” by Maya Angelou. This is from the “Black Aesthetics Movement, or the Black Arts Movement, which is when the Black pride evolved to Black separatism”; the African Americans began to scream their difference (Zeke Jarvis/University of Phoenix, 2016). Each of the works represents the theme of freedom after imprisonment. Frederick Douglass becomes psychologically free when he defeats Mr. Covey. Young (1996) stated, "This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood" (p. 25). Jourdan Anderson and his wife are physically free from slavery. W.E.B. Du Bois is the “Smoke King” and in his poem he is free by embracing who he is: I will be black as blackness can—

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