African American Literature
African American literature is captivating, powerful, spiritual, and emotional. The recurring theme is slavery but there are others such as inequality among sexes and races, injustice, resentment, and the strong belief in religion. These pieces of literature have been told by the individuals who went through the experience of slavery such as Frederick Douglass and others, like Jamaica Kincaid who have a passion for writing. The writers who experienced slavery themselves had differing views of their experience and relationship with their master. These pieces of literature share the pain, strength, heartache and will to go that each of these individuals experienced. The first reading is, To My Old Master, by Jourdan Anderson. This piece of literature is Anderson’s response to a letter he has received from his old master. It is a compelling story about how terrible and bad the Whites treated the African Americans. The master want’s Anderson and his family to come back and work for him. He reminds the master about how poorly they were treated while working for him. Anderson states, “Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living.” (1865, p. 15). Anderson tells the master that he is making money and his family is living and doing well. He even expresses that his children are receiving an education now. It is very apparent to the reader that Anderson’s wife does not want to return and work for the master. “Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you.” (1865, p. 16). Anderson remembers how horribly the woman and girls were treated, and he will never allow his daughters to go through that experience. “I would stay here and starve- and die, if it come to that-...
References: Anderson, J. (1865). To my old master. In I. Reed (Ed.), African American Literature. A brief introduction and anthology (pp. 15-16). New York: The Longman Literary Mosaic Series. [serial online]. December 2005;36(4):299-323. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 23, 2011.
Hines, M. (n.d.). My white folks treated us good. In I. Reed (Ed.), African American literature. A brief introduction and anthology (pp. 21-25). New York: The Longman Literary Mosaic Series. [serial online]. December 2005;36(4):299-323. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 21, 2011.
McKay, C. (n.d.). If we must die. In I. Reed (Ed.), African American literature. A brief introduction and anthology (pp. 378). New York: The Longman Literary Series [serial online]. December 2005;36(4):299-323. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed Dec, 2011.
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