African American Literature Term Paper:
African American literature is the part of the American literature which is created by the representatives of the African origin. In spite of being quite young African American literature is very rich and presents hundreds of works which are worth attention. The roots of African American literature are found in the 18th century in the era on slavery. In fact the first works written by African Americans were not published and they had a form of memorials and autobiographical stories of the ones who managed to escape slavery and depicted their life and fears of slavery in their works.
With the run of time the literature became richer and widely spread, especially after the abolition of slavery when African Americans got rights and managed to develop themselves and devote time to self-education and writing. The major themes of the literature of African Americans till the end of the 19th century were slavery, inequality of life in the USA, the problems of racism, poverty, etc.
The great flourishing of African American literature occurred in the beginning of the 20th century and is called the Harlem Renaissance, the greatest representative of which was Langston Hughes.
This time was closely connected with the jazz age and development of literature and music. African Americans played the key role in the development of jazz and blues and created numerous eternal pieces of this art. After the World War 2 African American literature focused on the problems of the civil rights, because at that time the civil movement was in its critical point. Here Martin Luther King should be mentioned. Nowadays African American literature has become even richer and covers all possible problems and themes of the human existence.
African American literature is the full-right representative of American literature and if a student wants to prepare a good term paper on it, he should study the problem profoundly and analyze the topic from all sides. A successful term paper on African American literature should touch upon the historic development of the literature, define its core themes and problems, demonstrate its greatest representatives and analyse their works briefly in order to present a full general image of African American literature from the 18th century to the current times.
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