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African American Literature: A Contrast between North and South, by Beverly White

Guide Entry to 91.01.07:

In historical scope the curriculum unit covers the black experience in the United States from the period after the Civil War through the Great Migration to the North, culminating with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. It is an objective of the unit to highlight the distinct regional differences that exist in the people and the literature of the North and the South. Using novels and short stories such as George Wylie Henderson’s “Ollie Miss;” Langston Hughes, “Red-Headed Baby”, and Richard Wrights’ “Black Boy,” the black folk life and living conditions in the South are described. With novels such as “Jule” by George W. Henderson, Tambourines to Glory by Langston Hughes, and “The Autobiography of Malcolm” it is revealed how the urban experience affected those who shed their “down home” image for the “evil” ways of the city. Through the unit students are exposed to various forms of African American literature that deal with the rural South and the urban North. Finally students will gain an appreciation, exposure, and knowledge of the period of the Harlem Renaissance, its writers and artists and their works.

(Recommended for English, grade 11)

Key Words

Afro-American Migration South North Art History Harlem Renaissance Literature Black

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