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Nine African-American Revolutionists and Writers

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His Clotel was the first novel published by an African-American. One of the most influential orators of his time, Douglass was an escaped slave who came to advise Abraham Lincoln. He was a strong supporter of the Civil War, working as both a propagandist and recruiter.

For sixteen years he published The North Star , a powerful anti-slavery newspaper. His best know works are his three autobiographies. They detail his slavery, escape and growth as an abolitionist. These books are considered among the finest slave narratives and embody his indomitable spirit. The first volume reveals the name of his slave owner. Jazz lover and poet, Hughes was a driving force behind the Harlem Renaissance of the s, when numerous writers and musicians became prominent.

He wrote novels, short stories, poems and plays about the Black experience in America from the Twenties to the Sixties. His home in Harlem has been designated as a historical landmark and the street renamed in his honor. His best known work of prose is his novel Not Without Laughter, a semi-autobiographical story about a boy growing up in rural Kansas in the s.

His grandmother struggles to keep the family together through poverty and racism. The book studies school, music and religion. Son of teachers, Haley was a gifted student. He graduated high school at fifteen and excelled at Alcorn State before quitting school for the Coast Guard. He diligently pursued a career as a freelance writer. His big break came when Playboy contracted him to write interviews on prominent figures such as Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr. The resulting genealogical novel Roots, published in , won a Pulitzer prize.

Baldwin was a passionate reader and talented writer from an early age. However, he spent his early years working to support his eight younger siblings. In , a fellowship allowed him to write for a living in New York.

Another fellowship took him to Paris, where the shift in location allowed him perspective on his life, including his atheism and homosexuality.

His best known work is his semi-autobiographical novel Go Tell It on the Mountain , which tells the story of a young Harlem man resolving his issues with religion and his father. He says it is the story he had to tell if he was ever going to write anything else. Angelou is a distinguished novelist and poet , as well as an actress, dancer and civil rights activist.

She writes from her experience with racism growing up in Missouri and Arkansas. The book contains elements of both fiction and memoir. In it she touches on controversial issues such as racism, feminism, single motherhood, rape and sexuality. Her first job was teaching English at Texas Southern University, where she learned that Black culture could be a discipline and not just family pride.

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Our experts at Homework Help USA seek to approach African American literature as an organizing literary category encompassing multiple types of autobiographical, spiritual, and cultural narratives, and explore its potential for critical and literary practice in the shaping of individual and cultural identity. This homework help resource uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long. How it works: Identify which concepts are covered on .

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