African American Literature- Since The Civil War

Images from Today’s Lecture:  African American Writing

Recordings from today’s classes:

Today we strode through a host of key writers, men and women, who were powerfully proclaiming the need for free expression and total acceptance as humans. Underpinned by Martin Luther King Jr, all these writers expressed passionately their sense of injustice and their need for healing. Most powerful of all was James Baldwin in his agonizing story “Going to Meet the Man”. This story expresses all the deep hurt, pain and buried hypocrisy and injustice. James Baldwin carves for himself here a niche for all time writing about the incredible humanity that man is capable of.

Blog topics for today are potentially from a huge list. Let’s see whether you can turn our questions from today into good clear answers:

* DU BOIS “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line”. What do you think Du Bois means?

* What qualities does Du Bois believe African Americans can bring to the country?

*Does Toomer’s use of vernacular for Tom  help or hinder the reader’s sympathy for Tom?


*What is Langston Hughes’ attitude to the way the Blues are being presented on Broadway? See “Note on Commercial Theatre”

*What is Hughes’ attitude to the idea of Freedom in “Words Like Freedom” and “Freedom”  What is the underlying theme of “Theme for English B”?

*BALDWIN- How does Baldwin through his language technique succeed in immersing his reader in the experience of his characters? Chose any section of his amazing story “Going to Meet the Man”

*Write a letter to James Baldwin telling him what you think of the power of his writing.

*WALKER Does Alice Walker believe that the “Everyday Use” of the old quilts is protecting or destroying tradition? Remember from the Introduction that we are told that Alice Walker resembles each of the characters in her narrative.

* Write a dialogue between two sisters who are diametrically opposed in their attitudes to life at home. Use “Everyday Use” as a starting point.

Remember you are permitted ALWAYS to create your very own topic.


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