A Plight Of A People : Black Literary Tradition Essay

A Plight Of A People : Black Literary Tradition Essay

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A Plight of a People: Black Literary Tradition Finds Strength in Biblical Text
Black literature confronts and questions the essence of the American consciousness. Intertwined to the fabric of the American people, the state and the nation’s ideals we find a disturbing history of brutal exploitation and dehumanization. Out of this plight, rise to vitality a collection of written initiatives that identify the acceptance of Blackness as the most pressing American affair. Within this canon of work, the Abolitionist movement rises to the attention of the slave population and of Europeans alike. The Abolitionist discourse reveals the power-conflict circumstances that persist and create tension between two classes of people. In September of 1828, David Walker becomes a fierce leader within the Abolitionist movement with the publication his Appeal in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Revolutionary in tone and a reformist piece in its message, the Appeal confront many of the injustices that exist in America -a self-advocating enlighten and Christian nation. In the core of the text, Walker positions the internal social actions of the United States as both contradictory to the nation’s ideals, and favors the transformative qualities of the protestant “classical” tradition.
By framing the text in the style of a sermon, Walker identifies his qualities of an orator and key player in the dissemination of liberating knowledge for black slaves. Hence, in his approach he finds a supporting document that help validate his argument in the faces of the masses; the Bible. Author and critic Bell asserts that “equally important…in the tradition of the Afro-American novel is the Bible…and creatively utilized ...


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...ing from other modes that do not participate in activist initiatives. As critic Raboteau notes “those facing the brutal conditions of slavery---the daily physical, psychological, and emotional attacks against their worth as a person---to experience the acceptance and affirmation of God renewed their sense of value and importance” (51). The contributions of Walker’s Appeal within the historical framework of the Bible, help us realize that Christianity was “a double edged sword” that “supplied the slaves with images of resistance, as well as ammunition for outright rebellion” (Raboteau 61). The collection of literature under the abolitionist movement gave light to the accurate depiction of black life under slavery. Much of the influence of the Abolitionist literary movement extends to the Civil War, which give color to the revolutionary spirit of Walker’s convictions.

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