Variety in African-American Writing

What is the nature of African-American literature following the Black Arts Movement?

Since the Black Aesthetic Movement and the Black Arts Movement, African-American writing has become more legitimized in America. Variety was the key to African-American writing after 1950 and barriers went down in various genres. The period from 1975 to the twenty-first century brought more black writers into the mainstream and greater attention to African-American literature and Black Studies programs. Women poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni, writers such as Margaret Walker, Paule Marshall, and Nobel-Prize-winner Toni Morrison were key in literary studies. Writers offered a broad view of the black experience, while bringing new perspectives inclusive of postmodern aesthetics and mixing of genres. Accomplished writers emerged, such as August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, and George Wolf in theater; Rita Dove and Yusef Komunyakaa in poetry; and Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, and John Edgar Wideman in fiction. Other writers who exerted their influence in other genres were Walter Mosley with detective novels and Octavia Butler in science fiction, as well as BeBe Moore Campbell, Charles Fuller, Charles Johnson, Gayle Jones, Terry McMillan, and Gloria Naylor, who used mixed genres of history revision, magical realism, and popular culture storylines.


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