In this introduction to African American literary studies, we will study the development of black writing in the United States from its origins in the African American oral traditions of the spirituals and folk tales to the late twentieth century narratives of Toni Morrison and Samuel Delaney. Readings will include works by Frederick Douglass, David Walker, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ann Petry, James Baldwin and others. We will read essays, poems, novels and short stories.
This is a lecture/discussion course, therefore, the first requirement is that you attend regularly. Come prepared with questions and/or comments. Assignments include several unannounced quizzes, at least three in class writing assignments, two five page papers, one in class midterm and one take home final.
Note: English majors interested in this course may wish to consider the English concentration in "African American Literature."