African American Literature Essay

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African American Literature American Ethnic Literature May 27, 2013 African American Literature A deeply rooted background in history, African American literature conveys strong messages in the stories told. The writers’ of this genre tell his or her story in a variety of methods, including life’s happy moments and tragic moments. The works of literature compiled in this genre reflect the many turns and twists that he or she endures struggling to obtain a place within history. Three significant stories that reflect the struggles faced by this culture are presented in the below paragraphs discussing his or her journey in various periods. Literary Conventions and Themes Covered in the Stories African American literature portrays different literary conventions and themes. In the first story “My White Folks Treated us Good” by Marriah Hines, the story is presented in the first person narrative. It tells the story about African American slaves treated well by his or her owner compared other stories from the same era that speak of rape, neglect, and abuse. The good treatment of the owners is seen in the lines, “We always had plenty of food, never knowed what it was to want food bad enough to have to seal it like a whole lot of ‘em (Hines, 1996, p. 32). Not only are the slaves provided with plenty of food but also the goods to make clothes. The slaves were treated with respect by their owner and in return the owner was treated respectfully by the slaves. Many of them continued to work the land even after he or she received his or her freedom. Hines also tells of how the master continued to help the slaves even after freedom. This is seen in the lines, “Master helped us much as he could. Some of us he gave a cow or mule or anything he could spare to help us (Hines, 1996, p. 34). In “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston the concept changes and society sees a
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