African American Literature Essay

African American literature has a strong deeply rooted background in the history of America. therefore giving the authors categorized in this genre a strong message to convey in any narrative they chose to state. From tragic life minutes to happy life minutes. the authors have the ability to state their narrative in a assortment of methods. This canon of literature serves as a journal for the African American community. All of the literary plants that compile this genre reflect the many turns and turns a corporate group of individuals must digest while fighting to accomplish a topographic point in history.

The undermentioned treatment of three historically important African American narratives reflects the battles one race of individuals had to digest on their journey throughout assorted clip periods in America. The Short Narratives In the short narrative. My White Folks Treated us Good by Mariah Hines the writer describes in first individual history of a state of affairs when African American slaves were treated good in comparing to the narratives of maltreatment. colza. and neglect most individuals are accustom to reading from this epoch.

The slaves ne’er went hungry. ever had apparels to have on. were able to work under their ain agreement. ever treated with regard. and were told to take Lord’s daies off while besides being encouraged to go to church on Sundays. The slaves were in fact treated so good that when they were free to go forth. they choose to stay at their former master’s farm and continued working for him. Hines concluded the Master continued to back up his former slaves. Hines stated “Master helped us much as he could. Some of us he gave a cow or mule or anything he could save to assist us ( p. 34 ) . ”

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Traveling frontward in clip. the short narrative Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston describes a state of affairs of domestic maltreatment in a long term relationship between a married woman. Delia Jones. and her hubby. Sykes Jones. Sykes enjoyed tormenting Delia. he would happen ways to do her occupation as a washerwoman more hard by kicking the apparels across the room or by frightening her with ways related to her fright of serpents. Sykes enjoyed combat ; he in fact enjoyed it so much so that he deliberately picked battles with Delia. This type of anguish strained their matrimony to the point of close silence on a day-to-day footing.

Sykes thought it to be a good thought to convey a rattler into their place. The rattler got lose in the place. Delia was able to acquire outside the place but Sykes remained in the place and was attacked in their sleeping room. Sykes yelled to Delia for aid and comfort. but she was unable to come to him related to fear. Delia eventually walked to the door. but due to the nature of his hurts and the distance to the physician she understood he would non do it through this onslaught. therefore she allowed him to go through in their backyard.

“She could barely make the China tree tree. where she waited in the turning heat while inside she knew the cold river was crawling up and up to snuff out that oculus which much known by now that she knew ( p. 108 ) . ” This narrative shows how those who choose to mistreat others ever pay for those actions in the terminal. Alice Walker wrote the narrative Nineteen Fifty-Five. about a immature white vocalist. Traynor. who purchased a vocal from a immature African American adult female. Gracie Mae. and went on to go celebrated after entering and let go ofing his ain version. His version of Gracie Mae’s vocal continued to eat away at Gracie Mae for the remainder of her life.

It did non hold the same significance. nor was it loved by his fans for the same grounds she hoped it would be. The fans loved Traynor. non the vocal. Traynor continued to maintain in contact with Gracie Mae throughout his clip in the ground forces. touring. matrimonies. and divorces. Then towards after many old ages. contact stopped and Traynor was found dead after 15 married womans and a troubled route in the terminal. Gracie Mae lived vicariously through Traynor and his portraiture of her vocal. Gracie Mae herself lived rather merrily through the birth of many kids. the divorce and/or decease of three hubbies. the showering of gifts from Traynor. and his ultimate decease.

Gracie Mae did hold a connexion to Traynor that flowed deeper than her vocal. “One dark I dreamed Traynor has split up with his 15th married woman p. 297 ) . ” Due to the stereotypes and biass of this clip period Gracie Mae and Traynor were ne’er able to show the emotional connexion they felt between each other. Common Literary Conventions Literary conventions and subjects were similar in the narratives ; intensions. civilization. undertones. and chief characters were likewise. The three narratives were written in first individual and portrayed a personal battle endured by each chief character.

The chief character was ever female. strong. and independent in different manner. The narratives span three different periods of clip. yet still reflecting similar battles in really different scenes. These conventions are of import when linking the messages of these narratives. Each has a narrative of battle. some are internal while others are outward. and each adult female must happen interior strength to alter or get by with their state of affairss. Get downing with My White Folks Treated us Good. this narrative was historically of import in relation to conveying the felicity that could be found in such a desperate state of affairs as bondage.

Hines showed non all slavery conditions were inauspicious or opprobrious ; there was still the possibility of basking life. and deriving independency by acquiring the interruption needed. such as the liberation of all slaves. to do one’s ain life better. In Sweat. Hurstson was able write a narrative about a adult female able to persist in a awful state of affairs of both mental and physical maltreatment. During this clip in history. adult females were non able to be independent and vocal due to a fright of judgement or increased maltreatment.

Delia was given the opportunity to be free from the maltreatments of Sykes and took that opportunity by leting him to decease from his hurts. therefore ensuing in her freedom. Following in the same suit. Nineteen Fifty-five expressed the internal battle of a woman’s desire to be understood and independent. Gracie Mae wanted to sing her ain vocal and populate her ain life. without connexion to a version of her vocal that did non stand for the original purpose. Gracie Mae was happy with her life. but was ne’er free from what the release of her vocal brought to her life. Conclusion Culturally. these narratives are of import to all American’s.

The historical significance of these narratives and the accent on equality topographic points a intension of credence and handiness of equal chance to all individuals irrespective of colour. societal category. age. race. gender. or personal state of affairs. African Americans are able to state their personal narratives of battles and victories through literature. This literature is a valuable tool for all individuals desiring to educate themselves approximately important times in American history. Mentions Young. A. ( 1996 ) . African American Literature: A brief Introduction and Anthology. New York. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers.

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