Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 7 July 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels -

R. Krishnaveni, M.A., M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D. Candidate


African American literature is the body of the literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. The genre traces its origins to the works of such late eighteenth century writers. While African American literature is well accepted in America, there are numerous views on its significance, traditions, and theories.

To the genre's supporters, African American literature arose out of the experience of Blacks in America, especially with regards to historic racism and discrimination, and is an attempt to refute the dominant culture's literature and power.

African American writing is essentially a human and social document which deals with the experiences of Americans of African ancestry. In all, it makes a rich contribution to the fast growing corpus of critical response to African American literature.

African American literature has generally focused on themes of particular interest to Blacks in the United States, such as the role of African Americans within the larger American society. It explores the very issues of freedom and equality which were long denied to African Americans in the United States, along with further themes like African American culture, racism, slavery, and a sense of home and the African aspects of Neo-hoodooism.

The Slave Narative

A subgenre of African American literature which began in the middle of the ninetieth century is the slave narrative.

The fundamental fact about slavery is that it put some human beings arbitrarily into the power of others, legalising inequality among men in perpetuity. It is a rejection of human equality. From a rhetorical vantage-point, the story of slavery demonstrates unending and invariable resistance to slavery by the slaves, resistance both to the demands of their condition and to the culture of the masters.

Ongoing Reinterpretation

In a very real sense, slavery is an area of southern historical scholarship that seems to be in a perpetual state of reinterpretation and renewal. This observation holds true for Black fiction writers and African American literary critics. Slavery as a subject continues to hold a particular fascination at least in part because it provides the ground for the writers of critical and imaginative literature. Slavery was condemned as a menace to the peace and safety of the nation.

The lives of the Black men and women have always been sharply conditioned by white patriarchal society and the economics of slavery. The white woman was considered as a 'fir' for the role of mother and worker who would continually increase their owners' stock. As Black writers have liberated themselves from their slave past, a sense of the need for self-worth has awakened in their hearts. Black writers seek to explore their relationships through the frame work of family and community. Their preoccupation with the redefinition of man-woman relationship after liberation from their slave past needs a serious consideration.

During the last twenty years a significant number of African American writers went back to revise the story of slavery in their works and the critics of African American literature too reflected the background of the African American literary tradition with the slave narratives.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

EAT Expressions in Manipuri | Learning from Movies - 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Language Awareness | Maternal Interaction and Verbal Input in Normal and Hearing Impaired Children | Role of L2 Motivation and the Performance of Intermediate Students in the English (L2) Exams in Pakistan | Problems in Ph.D. English Degree Programme in Pakistan - The Issue of Quality Assurance | Using Technology in the English Language Classroom | Teaching Literature through Language - Some Considerations | e-Learning of Japanese Pictography - Some Perspectives | Is It a Language Worth Researching? Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language | Using a Reading Material for Interactive Reading | Importance of Task-Based Teaching in Second Language Acquisition - A Review | Skill Enhancement Techniques - The Necessary Tools for the Indian Management Students | African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels - Hoodism | Instances of Code Switching in Indian Television Serials | The Role of Compounding in Technical English Prescribed for Engineering Students in Tamilnadu | Polite Request Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners | Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters - A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity | Reflections on Partition Literature - A Comparative Analysis of Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan | Mother Tongue! The Neglected Resource for English Language Teaching And Learning | Breaking the Good Mother Myths - A Study of the Novels of Amy Tan | Effect of Teachers' Academic Qualification on Students' L2 Performance at the Secondary Level | What Is Most Important? Fluency or Accuracy? Is Learning a Second Language a Conscious Process? | Let Us Learn from Our Standard 1 Textbook, Again! - A Brief Note on the New Standard 1 Tamil Textbook in Tamilnadu | Eugene O' Neill's The Hairy Ape - An American Expressionistic Play | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JULY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of July 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

R. Krishnaveni, M.A., M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D. Candidate
Department of English
Anna University
Tiruchirappalli - 620 024
Tamilnadu, India

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