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Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature

http://Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro American Presence in American Literature

Unspeakable Things Unspoken_ The Afro-American Presence in American Literature



  1. Natalya I like your background on Toni Morrison it was very informative. Morrison’s quest for finding the Afro American presence in literature and the aspects that need to change to allow African American literature to be included in western canons is very detailed. One major aspect are the constructs of race and how it should not determine which texts are canonical because race does not change or determine nature and what people write about. All people have a voice and a valued story to tell especially Afro-American writers. Our experiences and input are valuable and add to the history and culture of Western literature. Morrison’s four charges against Afro literature are interesting and valid. The traditional texts that are vowed as canonical are not the only texts that transcend, Afro-American poems, literature, songs and other art forms contribute to Western literature. Without the Afro-American input these accredited canons are incomplete. In most of my literature courses, my professors have been including more Afro-American, Afro-Caribbean literature into the curriculum and it is amazing to learn the powerful voice and input that the Afro community has offered. The novelist Chimamanda Adichie has warned the literary community about “The Danger of a Single Story”. This is true and the Western Canon is a prime example of this, the body of art represented is incomplete because they have purposefully excluded a major group. An influential voice has been left out and when authors like Morrison challenges these constructs, they are forcing the gatekeepers of the Western Canon to re-evaluate which bodies of work are deemed canonical. I sincerely believe this is the purpose of this article and her arguement is strong and it has created some ripples in the world of literature.

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