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ERIC Number: ED152863
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Ethnicity in Black American Fiction.
Steele, Shelby
San Jose Studies, v3 n3 p22-33 Nov 1977
Ethnicity in the American context involves two components: the cultural component and the "outsider" component. The first consists of those customs, folkways, rituals, and values identified with a particular ethnic group and its unique patterns of living. The second is the feeling of being outside the mainstream politically, economically, socially, or psychologically. This feeling is undeniably part of the American ethnic experience, especially for black Americans. The feeling of outsidedness dominated black American fiction from the Civil War through the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and the protest movement which followed. The works of the black authors Charles Chesnutt, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright reflected this feeling. In the 1950's, however, black writers such as Ralph Ellison came to accept their culture as valid and began to universalize themes, and to show the connections between black life and life in general. These themes continue to be developed today by such writers as Toni Morrison and Al Young. The outsider component of ethnicity in black writing, by itself, is not a sufficient focus to support a broad and varied cultural literature. (Author/MC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Conference on Minority Studies (5th, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, April 20, 1977)