This class serves as an introduction to literature by focusing on the
genre of African American protest literature. 
In this course we will examine the literary history of African American
protest literature by interrogating short stories, plays, and novels.  For example we will begin class with
Frederick Douglass’s novella The Heroic
before moving to Richard Wright’s Native
and more contemporary manifestations of African American protest
literature such as Ann Petry’s The Street,
Alice Walker’s Meridian, Sam
Greenlee’s political satire The Spook Who
Sat by the Door
, andLeroi
Jones’s play Dutchman & The Slave.  We will focus on how the political dimensions
of African American literature have shifted over time and in relation to
different political struggles such as the anti-slavery and civil rights


 Course Requirements 

*3 Close Readings

*Midterm Paper       


*3 scene interpretations

*Final Paper            

*Attendance and Participation        


Required Texts

Walker, Alice.  Meridian

Jones, Leroi.  Dutchman & The Slave

Greenlee, Sam.  The Spook Who Sat By the Door

Hansberry, Lorraine.  A Raisin in the Sun

Douglass, Frederick.  The Heroic Slave

Bambara, Toni.  The Salt Eaters

Petry, Ann.  The Street: A Novel

Wright, Richard.  Native Son