African American and Diaspora

African American and African Diaspora Literature

The vernacular tradition is the foundation of African American literature, and manifests itself in oral forms such as spirituals, sermons, gospel music, and blues. The body of literature encompasses the work of 18th century writers, from Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, to slave narratives and literature of the Harlem Renaissance, to contemporary writers such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Walter Mosley. Themes prevalent in African American and African Diaspora literature include the role of African Americans in a larger American society, African American culture, racism, slavery, and equality.

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