So /lit/ what are some good African American writers?
Is Morrison worth a dime? I have a copy of Song of Salomon, I might read it.
Also is African American ficction a somehow respectable sub category of fiction? or is it just worthless.
I want to understand the African American mindset in the mid to late 20th century. I dont mind reading essays, as long as they are illustrative.
song of solomon is the worst book i have ever read.
not in terms of objective quality but in terms of disconnect between what it set out to do and what it actually achieved, and how blatant the exploitation of identity politics was. morrison basically prefigured the whole SJW movement and capitalized on "muh white guilt" "muh slavery" to a disgusting level.
Zora Neale Hurston
Morrison is pretty good.
Samuel Delany and Octavia Butler if you like sci fi stuff.
Jay Wright and Thylias Moss if you like poetry.
African American lit is a weird distinction. It's useful, but when you brow the shelves at bookstores you get James Baldwin stacked next to crappy black erotica.
The vast majority of current afro-american literature is trash but there have been quality poets and authors of african-american descent in the past.
As a general rule of thumb if its mainly about the experience of being a black person in the US and muh slavery, privilege, racism, black bodies etc then its probably trash. Even if you are black just read a few works by the people who are considered the founders of afro-american /lit/ like Douglas and then just forget all the modern stuff because its mostly trash and there is way better stuff you can read.
Ive heard this is pretty good.
Has anyone read it?
>Is Morrison worth a dime?
She's female and black. What do you think, honestly?
>Also is African American ficction a somehow respectable sub category of fiction?
>I want to understand the African American mindset in the mid to late 20th century.
it's basically 'muh oppreshun!' and 'muh victim-mentality!' and 'muh ebil white man!'
Don't listen to this cuckold >>7600312
>unironically using the term "social justice" as a good thing
i read for prose and aesthetics i dont give a shit if your great great grandfather picked some cotton or was poor
I think making "African American Literature" a separate distinction is unproductive. Like people who list women authors as a separate genre.
If they're all written in English they should be judged by the same standards of merit. In my opinion.
>claims to be an Interesting Narrative
>is the most boring book I've ever read in my life
>When have books ever not been about social justice?
We're talking about fiction, and Aristotle had more to say than "treat ppl equally lmao"
You can't make good fiction by leaning on moral platitudes.
>posts les mis
You realize many of his contemporaries shat on that right? They publicly praised it for its social commentary but disparaged it in private correspondence. I wouldn't expect a monolingual social justice pleb to understand this, but in France he was always more acclaimed for his poetry.
Definitely go for Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain; it is without a doubt the strongest offering African American Lit has to offer. His essays are also pretty good, though the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Notes of a Native Son, which I remember fondly but am not confident its his best. Morrison is worth the read but probably a bit overrated. The Autobiography of Malcolm X definitely one you would want to check out as well. As far as contemporary authors go, don't bother with Octavia Butler cause she's a fucking hack. Kindred is almost not terrible, but not worth it. Gloria Naylor is a personal favorite because Mama Day is GOAT status, but her other works can at times be frustrating to work through.
Invisible Man is very good. Unfortunately it was Ellison's only novel.
I liked James Baldwins first three novels and most of his essays. I think about midway through Another Country you can tell the booze is starting to take a toll on him. He had a pretty steep decline.
>We're talking about fiction, and Aristotle had more to say than "treat ppl equally lmao"
You can't make good fiction by leaning on moral platitudes.
did u even read any of the books mentioned here lmao
>black authors write about their experiences in life
>a lot of the time that has to do with racism
>"hurr write about stuff I actually care about"
Actually everyone in this thread shit talking black writers needs to kill themselves.
>a lot of the time
More like 100% of the time.
I once tried to find some quality black literature after realizing that the only thing by a black person I'd ever read was invisible man in school.
All of it is about oppression. Even invisible man is, it just has the distinction of being good.
Finally my kindle Screensaver and Quentin Tarantino informed me that Alexander dumas was black enough to count.
Liberal opinions are not the only valid ones, like another anon said this isn't a liberal hugbox, people have differing opinions and all have some validity to them, get over yourself
Black fiction is a respectable category of fiction because it elucidates the perspective of an historically persecuted minority. That being said, many black writers have bristled at being pigeonholed into this genre of "African American fiction" which automatically implies an inferiority, like black people need a separate category in order to be considered legitimate. Or, that black writers are only allowed to talk about "black ppl things". James Baldwin was one of those writers, making his second book, Giovanni's Room, about a white gay couple in France so Baldwin the writer wasn't isolated as someone only important to other black people. Toni Morrison takes the opposite view, writing in interviews that her books are specifically for the black perspective "first", and that she doesn't write along the lines of a false universally human gaze just to soothe the delicate anxieties of whites. Should writers reach for the "universal"? Is that just a marketing tactic disguised as philosophy? Is the black fiction category helpful, harmful, legitimate, or otherwise? Idk man, all I know is that these following black writers are fucking amazing and if you're not reading them, you're missing out.
Nella Larson (ppl will tell you she's overrated. These people are wrong.)
James Baldwin (he's black, he's gay, he likes the French, get used to it)
Samuel R. Delany (my favorite sci fi writer)
John Edgar Wideman (deep historical perspective + Faulknerian prose)
Toni Morrison (go ahead and read Solomon, then read Beloved. I read it in a day, flipped it back around and read it again the following one. It's a vital piece of contemporary fiction.)
Because the ones that don't are too complicated for you.
I've always had problem with Native Son, wouldn't rank it close to Baldwin. I preferred Uncle Tom's Children, but that isn't a novel. Which brings me to the problem with Invisible Man: it is good, but as a series of vignettes, not as a novel. Go Tell It is superior in that regard. Hurston in general can get bent but Their Eyes Were Watching God is worth a read at least, but not the best