The 1960s saw a new movement develop in African-American literature known as the Black Arts Movement. While the novels of the 1950s were focused on race relations and equality, the Black Arts Movement was focused on black power. It expressed the historical experiences of African- Americans, it was aimed at the black community, and it was about the urban poor. Etheridge Knight’s Poems from Prison is an example of the literature produced by the movement. Knight, who was serving time in an Indiana prison for burglary, found his artistic voice there. His poetry was discovered by Dudley Randall, whose Broadside Press brought many Black Arts Movement authors to print. In her introduction, Gwendolyn Brooks stated about the book, “And there is blackness, inclusive, possessed and given; freed and terrible and beautiful.” This copy is autographed by Knight.
Considered the first major African-American poet, Dunbar was born in Dayton and worked as a messenger and elevator operator while writing poetry in his spare time. Oak and Ivy, his first book, was discovered and promoted by two Toledoans, attorney Charles Thatcher and physician W. C. Chapman.
syllabus | African American Literature
These have led me to think about autobiographical examples, specifically the narratives of and Richard Wright and the overall tradition of education in African American literature and literacy as a tool for gaining higher degrees of social agency.
The Best Autobiographies You Should Read Reader's Digest
Wheatley was one of the first African-American writers to achieve an international reputation. The fact that an African-born slave woman was writing poetry in English proved to be stunning news to whites of the time. Her first published works appeared in London in 1773. This particular volume is a collection of prose and poetry about events that happened during her lifetime.
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Richard Wright (1908-1960), African-American author of the best selling 1940 novel "Native Son,"receiving the Spingarn Award from sociologist, Elmer Carter, in 1941.
And Still I Rise - Common Ground Theatre - San Diego
This book represented a major shift in African-American literature. Wright’s themes were protest, the hypocrisies of American racial thinking, and the marginalization of African-Americans within society. Wright would have an important influence on other African-American writers of the period, including James Baldwin, Chester Himes, and Ralph Ellison.