Annotated Bibliography for African American Literature

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

African American literature is a sub-class of American literature that contains work that is produced by writers of the African descent. These work normally mirrors the experiences and viewpoints of African Americans. Two work of literature that will be discussed are “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes and “Lesson” by Toni Cade Barbara. Themes that will be in a discussion are race and ethnicity, identity, visions of American, social class and poverty. African American literature as it studies cultural phenomenon, social justice, racism and personal encounters in life is the standing working thesis.

According to Harper, the author for “Theme in English B” was born amongst well-educated African Americans. His parents separated when he was a young boy, his extended family provided him with clothing, shelter, and education. He was a certified teacher for a short time and became unhappy with underemployed and frustrated with racial barriers in America and then migrated to Mexico. In high school he was awarded the “class poet” and there he printed his first short story. He grieved racial insults at the hands of other white individuals. According to Harper, Hughes often writes about his own pains that were tolerated by the mutual race and sometimes all of mankind. He dropped out of college and traveled the world, short stories and poems captured some of his impressions out of the country, not only revealing his journeys but also the way he viewed himself and black folks.

According to Harper, Hughes returned to college at as an older student and succeeded at the first African American college in Pennsylvania. Harper argued that Hughes was a handsome and warm person and readers would view him as impolite for his constantly positive gratefulness of black people and his consistently rational treatment of people of all races and beliefs. This source will be used in my project as this gave a little history about his up bringing’s and what influenced him to write his poetry. I will be using this source to further explain my thesis and I can relate the two authors on their writing styles.

According to Naderi, “The Lesson “by Toni Cade Bambara like many other black writers writes about dogmatic issues in her work, the writing embodies the reality of black voices. Naderi mentioned that Bambara believes that it is useless to direct the truth about African American by using the American standard English and this is why black dialect is used to express their culture. “The Lesson”, is about black issues in a community and the existence of social disproportions. The dialect used gives the author a sense of self-confidence and authority.

This article discussed Sylvia, her friends, and Miss Moore as Miss Moore makes them comprehend the equality of social and economic class. According to Naderi, Miss Moore tries to help these children to understand the fact that unfortunate people can come around and plea their portion of the pie. This source is useful in my project because it analyzes the story and gives feedback on the dialect used, the attitude and how poor African American relates to a person of their race being educated and wealthy.

According to Pineda, “Theme for English B” by Hughes shows a standpoint on being the minority in America, as this observed one’s identity, its relation to freedom and voicing the logic of fitting in the American society. Pineda further argued that the capabilities of the author does not only outline the poems cultural aspect but also is alluring to the readers. In this poem, African American brawl for equality describing a college student who scrutinizes his presence in the American society.

Pineda further analyzes the poem “Theme by English B” stating that the speaker scans his identity in relation to his white professor, as the speaker marvels why is he still being discriminated against. He wonders could it be his physical appearance or his yearning to attend college. The unruly tone in this poem features the obligation of being or doing rather exceptional to achieve freedom. I will use this source to develop the understanding of the motives that give the author a reason to write, the symbolism that was brought out in the poem, to further discuss this poem with quotations.

According to Timko, in 1970 Toni Cade Bambara changed her name to Barbara, a name of the West African racial group. Her too was an educated black woman who graduated college and attended multiple colleges, she was profoundly affected by the Black Renaissance in the 1920’s. Timko argued that “Lesson” a short story collection she wrote immediately used dialogue, character, conflict, and theme. These revealed the definite objective in this short story, where the character lived, the inequalities in their lives, the issues they face, the manner which they face them and the resolutions.

Timko further argued that the author wrote fiction to show both the concerns and possibly providing answers to those issues, and that it appears fitting to turn art into solutions from racial setting, social and current political. This source is useful in my project, giving me information on the author, this will help me develop my project with race and ethnicity.

According to Young, African American literature has a connection between literature and history, by tracing the development of African American literature this is done by identifying the goals and agendas writers emphasize about. Young argues that literature reflects life and emphasize that this is particularly true with African Americans. The authors mainly highlight and narrate significant evenest in history in their storytelling. References are used in the periods of American history which was difficult or even traumatic for African Americans.

Young further discussed that in order to appreciate African American literature is to understand the culture and events that occurred in history. Writers uses dialect and vernacular to express their expression. African American literature provides fictional, historical and personal accounts which can be cruelty and sometimes troubling. This source will be used in my project to develop the history of African American literature.

In summary, these resources will help me develop my research question and analyze these two literature. Understanding the African American culture is imperative in appreciating how the authors write their stories or poem. Though their work may be fictional it is portrayed from experiences and struggles the culture experiences. It is also vital to know the authors experiences in their culture, how they grew up and the period of when they grow up to analyze with they portray their work they way they do. Themes of English B by Langston Hughes and Lesson by Toni Bambara shares the same theme, there work are very similar and they share the same attitude, tone and dialect.


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