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African American Literature Essay

954 words - 4 pages

African American Literature
Literature is the world ways of recording their insights and perceptions on the human experience. Africa didn’t start with actually writing down their history, they used other forms of literature to preserve their culture and history. They engaged in oral traditions when passing down knowledge of Africa’s past. Africa used myths, fables and proverbs, and riddles as ways of teaching and remembering their cultures historical events.
African mythology play a big part in passing down values and beliefs of the African culture. African myths “include supernatural beings who influence human life” (Mythencyclopedia) and usually drive the everyday lives of the people. ...view middle of the document...

The Labarai tales are for the male members of the tribe and they encase the cultures tribal history. Tales are based around truer events and are meant for younger generations to accepted behavior while fables “are narrations of events often with a moral overtone” (Kumar). These two types of orally told stories contributed greatly in Africa’s literary history.
Many of these medians of literature were meant to be passed from generation to generations. The proverbs “contains wisdom, truths, morals, and traditional views in a metaphorical, fixed, and memorable form” (Sills) which help create laws, in a sense. They are “the do's and the don'ts that the community had come to learn by experience” (Kumar). These proverbs assisted in teaching generations the values of their society. Most of these are not obvious nor easy to understand but they are used in common conversations which help with approaching their true meanings. These types of literature serve great number of purpose which is why they bare a big part in documenting Africa’s history.
These ways of communicating and remembering things were essential in African culture. Myths were a primary way of passing down religion and belief, while fables and tales were geared toward moral behavior. Lastly proverbs, which were meant to teach values and respect for one’s culture. Each of these literary types were used in the conservation of African history and have paved ways for written forms of literature in The African American culture.
Douglass Turner Wards “Day of Absence” play is a great representation of the African American culture due to its enclosed uproar when that race goes missing. The play depicts a society without African Americans and how its ceases in productivity, families didn’t know how to care for their young, and a whole town goes crazy without their presence.
African Americans, like other races, are essential to living. Turner Wards play...

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