Essay Example on African American Literature: Then vs Now

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  654 Words
Date:  2023-01-11


There are various aspects of the African American Literature on the basis of how it was perceived and understood earlier before the transformations which have taken place in it happened. A clear understanding of the way African American Literature was to the way it is today is vital.

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Some of the basic aspects that dominated the African American Literature which is based on the culture of the black people in the United States were like racism, slavery, segregation of the blacks, religious differences among so many other similar dimensions. The authors in the ancient times used to base more on the negative things in the African American culture of the black people. These negative aspects of this incorporated matters of slavery and racial segregation, religious differences among many other such vices ("Uncle Tom Or New Negro?: African Americans Reflect On Booker T. Washington And Up From Slavery One Hundred Years Later"). Therefore my impressions about the African American Literature long before I joined and got into this literature or culture were that all that exists the African American culture is discrimination of the blacks on the basis of their races, religions and so on.

However, with a deep interaction with the African American Literature, the perceptions and impressions about this aspect have greatly changed and this has fostered a clear understanding of what is entailed in this culture as of the present times. Most important is the issue of equality among all the people that most writers and or authors in this African American Literature are writing about ("Uncle Tom or New Negro? African Americans Reflect On Booker T. Washington And Up From Slavery One Hundred Years Later"). The basis of the authors' work on this particular aspect of equality changes the impressions in that the negative associations of the African American culture have changed and all that is embraced is what is positive for all the people irrespective of the color or origin. The blacks and the whites in America are before the African American Literature view equal.

Black Aesthetic

Turning to the black aesthetic, it is defined as the curatorial aspect that is aimed at ensuring a collective and deep understanding of the culture of the blacks. In other words, the black aesthetic is the ideology behind the support and upholding of the culture and practices of the black people living in America. This ideology serves important in ensuring and showing the importance of the African or black culture to the people of America in terms of the contributions that it makes in their day to day lives (Steward). The black aesthetic is framed on the basis of music, artistry, comedy among other such stuff which has to do with and be connected with the cultural practices and beliefs of the black people living in America and the changes associated with it from an ancient to present point of view.


There is no definitive black aesthetic in 2019 in the present day America. This is because the culture and practices of blacks in America has not been taken fully serious. In other words, the culture of the blacks has not impacted so much on the whites and therefore there still remains some level of alienation of this culture in America. However, there is a need to have a black aesthetic that cannot be changed in any way. This way, there will be a prevailing understanding of the African American culture in terms of positive contributions attributed to it within and outside the confines of America as a country.

Works Cited

"Uncle Tom or New Negro? African Americans Reflect On Booker T. Washington And Up From Slavery One Hundred Years Later". Vol 44, no. 10, 2007, pp. 44-5844-44-5844. American Library Association, doi:10.5860/choice.44-5844.

Steward, Theophilus Bolden. "The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches.W. E. B. Dubois". American Journal of Sociology, vol 9, no. 1, 1903, pp. 136-137. University Of Chicago Press, doi: 10.1086/211199.

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