African American Women Writers' Historical Fiction by Ana Nunes

By Ana Nunes

This quantity explores African American ancient fiction written by way of girls within the final 4 a long time of the 20th century. entire in scope, this publication refers to over thirty authors whose work has contributed to the culture, from Margaret Walker to Sherley Anne Williams to Toni Morrison. Ana Nunes’s approach to the text emphasizes the narrative and thematic achievements of person novels against the backdrop of the most traits and advancements of the modern African American ancient novel.

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Then I began to daydream . . Someday, . . I will understand, and I will be able to do something about it. I will write books that will prove the history texts were distorted. indd 26 3/10/11 8:38 AM SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT 27 to note here how Walker represents her experience in terms of past and future tenses. The history learned on the school benches of the segregated South contributed to this first impulse to set the record of American history straight. In the North, Walker realized that poverty and injustice were not confined to the Southern states or to one side of the racial dividing line.

Most importantly, Cooper is alert to the tensions evident in the figure of the good mother. More than a simple figure of compliance and passivity, Cooper’s mother is also fierce and dangerous. This figure resents the position of black women and acts in complex and subtle ways to change it. In concluding her speech, Cooper asserts the principles of Christian humanism, which inform and characterize African American literary tradition: “Let woman’s claim to be as broad in the concrete as in the abstract.

Her concerns, fictionalized in Harper’s works and in subsequent novels such as Pauline Hopkins’s Contending Forces, clearly articulate the link between the black women’s movement and the development of a black literature. She also emphasizes the role of literature in black emancipation. American literature, she states, is in need of a “greater variety and . . ”57 Williams, along with her fellow activists, supports a literary production, which would portray African American experience and concurrently “uplift the race” and educate white America.

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