Literature of the reconstruction 1865 1919
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Literature of the Reconstruction 1865-1919. By the climax of this era, Frederick Douglass had died and Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois became the two prominent Af. Am. Figures w varying ideals for uplifting the “ Negro ” race. Literature of the Reconstruction 1865-1919.

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Literature of the Reconstruction 1865-1919

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Literature of the reconstruction 1865 1919

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865-1919

By the climax of this era, Frederick Douglass had died and Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois became the two prominent Af. Am. Figures w varying ideals for uplifting the “Negro” race.


Literature of the reconstruction 1865 19191

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865-1919

From 1865 well into the 20th century, Af. Am. authors continued to address the issues of slavery and freedom, color and racial discrimination.

Post-bellum writers retold the story of slavery by challenging the myth of black passivity w/ stories highlighting their ancestors’ heroism and courage.


Booker t washington 1856 1932

Booker T. Washington 1856 - 1932

Up from Slavery (1901)

Themes:

African American education and intelligence

Poverty and economic disability

Migration for self-advancement

Labor in bondage, labor in despair

Black economic ambition

Black citizenship

Racial cooperation and coalition


Booker t washington 1856 19321

Booker T. Washington 1856 - 1932

Up From Slavery(1901)

Characteristics:

Author, educator, editor, and orator

Reportorial, straightforward voice

Trickster narrator, African American rhetorical masking


Booker t washington 1856 19322

Booker T. Washington 1856 - 1932

Up From Slavery(1901)

Parable of the distressed vessel on Amazon River…”Water! Water!...We are thirsty! …Cast down your bucket where you are.”

Dual-fold message of metaphor to both “Negro” and “white southerner”

“Fingers of the hand” metaphor, and BTW’s views on the way negro masses would progress economically and financially.

Philosophy on social responsibility vs. social equality


W e b dubois

W.E.B. DuBois

Souls of Black Folk

Themes:

Power, beauty, and significance of black history, culture, art forms, and folk ways

International movements of black resistance to oppression

Eradication of bigotry, racial subjugation, all forms of inequality

Communal experience of “life with the Veil”

African American self-perception as “double-consciousness”

African America’s “Talented Tenth”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is important to read Souls as an essay collection that explores African American life and culture via history, sociology, religion, economics, politics, and music.

The work is a intersection of literary elements with characteristics from other disciplines such as sociology and education.


W e b dubois1

W.E.B. DuBois

Souls of Black Folk

Characteristics:

African American vernacular English

Formal, contemplative, controlled nonfiction prose

Poetry and fiction are passionate

Unflinching critique of white (economic) supremacy


Genres and authors of the period

Genres and authors of the period

PoetryPeriodical Literature

  • Grimke’ Charles Chestnutt

  • W.E.B. DuBois Hopkins

  • Corrothers W.E.B. DuBois

  • J.W. JohnsonWeldon Johnson

  • Fenton Johnson

    Paul L. Dunbar

    Oration

  • Booker T. Washington

  • Cooper

    Religious/Political Treatise

  • Cooper Weldon Johnson

  • Wells-Barnett  Paul L. Dunbar

  • W.E.B. DuBois

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865 - 1919


Reconstruction 1865 1919 authors by primary genre

Reconstruction (1865-1919) Authors by primary Genre

Prose Narrative / Autobiography / Slave Narrative

  • Grimke‘

  • Booker T. Washington

  • Charles Chestnutt

  • Cooper

  • W.E.B. DuBois

    Short Fiction

  • Charles Chestnutt (Wife of my Youth; Goophered Grapevine…)

  • Hopkins

  • Alice Dunbar Nelson (wife of Paul L. Dunbar)

    The Novel

  • James Weldon Johnson (Auto. Of Ex-Colored Man)

  • Ch. Chestnutt (Marrow of Tradition)

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865 - 1919


Reconstruction 1865 1919 questions to consider from introduction

Reconstruction (1865-1919) Questions to consider…from Introduction

  • According to the literature, what effective rhetorical strategies did post-Reconstruction Af. Am. Writers devise to protest demeaning and dismissive racial attitudes?

  • What were black authors’ literary responses to the rampant lynching and legalized racial discrimination so pervasive during the sociopolitical “nadir” of Af. Am. History?

  • Where were most of the publishing houses; who owned them; and who determined what was published, where, and how it was marketed? That is, what was the impact the publishing industry on the development and dissemination of Af. Am. Literature c. 1900?

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865 - 1919


Reconstruction 1865 1919 questions to consider cont d

Reconstruction (1865-1919) Questions to consider…cont’d

  • What were the dominant literary forms, plots, and character types deployed by late 19th century Af. Am. Writers? Granted that these choices were not coincidental but deliberate, on what factors phenomena do these literary choices seem based?

  • If the most dominant rhetorical forms in Af. Am. Literature are signifying and masking, find examples of them and examine how they are deployed in African Am. Writings of the Reconstruction and afterward.

  • Return to the vernacular tradition, trace the development of key figures from the vernacular tradition in the Reconstruction literature. i.e. where is the figure of the signifying monkey in Charles W. Chestnutt’s short fiction? Can folk sermons be located in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poetry? In James Weldon Johnson’s works? In other writers from this period?

Literature of the Reconstruction 1865 - 1919


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