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Academic papers on African-American Literature

Toni Morrison/Beloved
A 15 page analysis of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize winning book, Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Unlike traditional narrative techniques, there is no attempt in Beloved to deliver a chronological retelling of the protagonist's life as a slave. Rather...
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African-American Literature: Singing The People's Song
A five-page critical analysis on the state of African-American literature, with an emphasis on poetry. Includes an overview of black poetry from Phillis Wheatley through James Weldon Jonson, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou to the cutting-edge poets...
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Maya Angelou/ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A 3 page analysis of Angelou's autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is a complex work that not only details the events of Angelou's girlhood, but also illustrates the sociological structures that were in place in the South at that...
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Leroi Jones/ Blues People
A 3 page analysis of Blues People: Negro Music in White America by Leroi Jones. This book is a comprehensive and highly readable account that traces the birth and development of African American music and the considerable effect that it has had on...
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Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
This 5 page paper considers the three ways that Maya Angelou argued that second class citizens infringed on her personal development as she grew up in the pre-Civil War south. This paper reflects on whether these experiences were universal or if...
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Comparing/Malcolm X and Maya Angelou
A 6 page essay that contrasts and compares "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and the fifth book in Maya Angelou's serial autobiography "God's Children Need Traveling Shoes." The writer argues that in both books the authors demonstrate that visit in...
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Bontemps and the 1800 Richmond Slave Revolt
An 11 page research paper that examines how Arna Bontemps' novel Black Thunder differs from the historical account of the 1800 Richmond slave revolt, and why. Bibliography lists 6 sources.
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Adrienne Kennedy/Funnyhouse of a Negro
A 5 page research paper that examines Adrienne Kennedy's highly symbolic play, "Funnyhouse of a Negro." The writer argues that the point of this play is not so much to convey a coherent narrative as to convey the feeling, the context of the...
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Jacobs and Butler Look at Slavery
Jacobs and Butler Look at Slavery: This 11-page analytical essay examines Harriet Jacobs
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Pearl Cleage: What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (1997)
(5 pp)Ava Johnson is the main character of Pearl Cleage's 1997, first novel, What Looks Like Crazy on a Ordinary Day. Not only is the narrator of the tale, but throughout the read and afterwards, she has become our "new best friend." This...
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August Wilson/Fences
A 5 page research paper that analyzes August Wilson's play Fences, which is a multigenerational look at an African American family and is, principally, the story of Troy Maxson and the psychological fences that isolate him from his friends and...
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Hope Springs Eternal in Raisin in the Sun
A 10-page research paper on Lorraine Hansberry
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Scrutinizing King Henry V in William Shakespeare
An 8 page paper which evaluates the male protagonists of Henry V and Captain Willmore by examining how the playwrights subject each to intense scrutiny throughout the course of the works. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
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A Consideration of Gender in
A 4 page consideration of how gender affects decision in this futuristic novel by Nalo Hopkinson. No additional sources are listed.
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Early African American Literature: Comparing DuBois and Baldwin
This is a 5 page paper that provides an overview of DuBois and Baldwin. Similarities such as the questioning of the role of church in African American society are explored. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
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