Characteristics of the literature
African American literature since 1975 offers a variety of different subjects, styles, and themes. This literature is characterized by five distinct trends: “the acknowledgement of the multiplicity of African-American identities, a renewed interest in history as writers imagine the psychological and spiritual lives of African Americans during slavery and segregation, the emergence of a community of black women writing, a continuing exploration of music and other forms of vernacular culture as springboards for literary innovation and theoretical analysis, and the influence of African American literary scholarship.” (Gates 2127)
Toni Morrison was born on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. Morrison 's first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), told the story of a young African-American girl who believed life would be better if only she had blue eyes. Her next novel, Sula (1973), was nominated for the American Book Award. Morrison’s third book, Song of Solomon (1977), became the first work by an African-American author to be a featured selection in the book-of-the-month club since Native Son by Richard Wright. Her next work, however, proved to be one of her greatest masterpieces. What is considered to be Morrison’s seminal text, Beloved (1987), explores love and the supernatural. The main character, a former slave, is haunted by her decision to kill her children rather than see them become slaves. For this work, Morrison won several literary awards, including the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Ten years later, in 1998, the book was turned into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey. Her novels are known for their themes, dialogue and richly detailed black characters. Morrison has won nearly every...
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..., to the many relatable microaggressions that fill the pages, Rankine provides readers with a plain and direct conversation about the current issue of race in America. Rankine writes that Citizen is the result of “anger built up through experience and the quotidian struggles against dehumanization every brown or black person lives simply because of skin color.” (Rankine) This novel is important to the period because of its candid conversation about an array of current issues including: Hurricane Katrina the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin, James Craig Anderson and the “stop-and-frisk” phenomenon. Rankine finds an overall brilliant way of writing about race in America throughout Citizen. Her unapologetic series of short stories are written too honest and angry to be merely presentations; instead, they’re intended to evoke so much emotion that they serve as a call-to-action.
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- In 1990 Toni Morrison delivered the William E. Massey Lectures in the History of American Civilization. The lecture series was revised and published in May 1992 as a slim volume titled Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. The three essays are metacritical explorations into the operations of whiteness and blackness in the literature of white writers in the United States. Toni Morrison takes the position that the existing literary criticism in the United States has provided incomplete readings of its canonical literature and, further, has concealed the politics informing the practice of critical literary and cultural analysis itself.... [tags: Race, White people, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway]
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- Toni Morrison and bell hooks: Fighting for Truth In a society where harsh generalization and inaccurate stereotypes of African-Americans are present in everyday life, two authors have attempted to try and make a change in the way whites perceive blacks. In conversations with Toni Morrison and essays written by bell hooks, these authors help the American public realize the socially incorrect views our culture displays. In mainstream American culture and literature inaccurate representations of African-Americans has created false distortions within society.... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]
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- The novel, The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison is about a year in the life of an eleven year old girl from Ohio, Pecola Breedlove, who undergoes feelings of rejection, inferiority and self-deprecation because of the racism in her society. Toni Morrison presents with this, the notion that America lives under a stereotype which suggests that to be accepted in a community, one has to be what society considers beautiful, in this case, white. It was written in 1970, therefore is considered a part of the contemporary literature which represents works written after World War II.... [tags: Literary Analysis ]
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- The Sacred Language of Toni Morrison Toni Morrison makes a good point when, in her acceptance speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, she says, “Narrative . . . is . . . one of the principal ways in which we absorb knowledge” (7). The words we use and the way in which we use them is how we, as humans, communicate to each other our thoughts, feelings, and actions and therefore our knowledge of the world and its peoples. Knowledge is power. In this way, our language, too, is powerful.... [tags: Toni Morrison]
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- Recitatif by Toni Morrison 'Recitatif', by Toni Morrison, is a profound narrative that I believe is meant to invite readers to search for a buried connotation of the experiences that the main characters, Twyla and Roberta, face as children and as they are reunited as adults. Some of the story?s values and meanings involving race, friendship and abandonment begin to emerge as the plot thickens; however, more messages become hidden and remain unrecognized, even until the very last sentence. From the very first paragraph of the narrative, I noticed that there were several details that the narrator mentioned that required further, deeper thought.... [tags: Toni Morrison Recitatif Essays]
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- Analysis of Toni Morrison's Beloved Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Beloved, is a historical novel that serves as a memorial for those who died during the perils of slavery. The novel serves as a voice that speaks for the silenced reality of slavery for both men and women. Morrison in this novel gives a voice to those who were denied one, in particular African American women. It is a novel that rediscovers the African American experience. The novel undermines the conventional idea of a story’s time scheme.... [tags: Beloved Toni Morrison Literature Essays]
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- Most of literature written by American minority authors is pedagogic, not toward the dominant culture, but for the minority cultures of which they are members. These authors realize that the dominant culture has misrepresented minority history, and it is the minority writers' burden to undertake the challenge of setting the record straight to strengthen and heal their own cultures. Unfortunately, many minorities are ambivalent because they vacillate between assimilation (thereby losing their separateness and cultural uniqueness) and segregation from the dominant culture.... [tags: Toni Morrison Essays 2014]
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- Style Analysis of Beloved In the 500 word passage reprinted below, from the fictional novel Beloved, Toni Morrison explains the pent-up anger and aggression of a man who is forced to keep a steady stance when in the presence of his white masters. She uses simple language to convey her message, yet it is forcefully projected. The tone is plaintively matter-of-fact; there is no dodging the issue or obscure allusions. Because of this, her work has an intensity unparalleled by more complex writing.... [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays]
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- Toni Morrison was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved, a novel whose popularity and worth earned her the Nobel Prize in literature the first ever awarded to a black female author. Born in the small town of Larain, Ohio, in 1931, to George and Ramah Willis Wofford, Morrison's birth name is Chloe Anthony Wofford (Gates and Appiah ix). Morrison describes the actions of her central character in Beloved, as: the ultimate love of a mother; the outrageous claim of a slave. In this statement we find an expression of the general themes of Morrison's mainly naturalistic works. One of these is the burden of the past or history (i.e.... [tags: Toni Morrison Essays]
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- Toni Morrison In the mid twentieth century, the Civil Rights Movement influenced African-American writers to express their opinions. Most African-American writers of the time discussed racism in America and social injustice. Some authors sought to teach how the institution of slavery affected those who lived through it and African-Americans who were living at the time. One of these writers was the Toni Morrison, the novelist, who intended to teach people about all aspects of African-American life present and past.... [tags: Biography Toni Morrison Author Essays]
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