African-American Writers , Facts on File by Philip Bader

By Philip Bader

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He was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937, which allowed him to complete two important scholarly collections, The Negro in American Fiction and Negro Poetry and Drama, both published in 1937. An important study of the ways in which African Americans had typically been portrayed in American literature, Brown’s The Negro in American Fiction identified several images (among them what he called “The Contented Slave,” “The Comic Negro,” and “The Exotic Primitive”) that contributed to the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of black culture.

Draper, James P. Black Literature Criticism. Vol. 1. : Gale Research, 1992, 152–171. Bennett, Gwendolyn (Gwendolyn Bennetta Bennett, Gwendolyn Bernette Bennett, Gwendolyn Bennett Jackson, Gwendolyn Bennett Crosscup) (1902–1981) poet, journalist Though considered by many to be a minor literary figure during the Harlem Renaissance, Gwendolyn Bennett earned the respect of her contemporaries, including LANGSTON HUGHES and COUNTEE CULLEN, as well as that of the earlier generation of African-American writers, among them JAMES WELDON JOHNSON.

Brown, Claude (1937–2002) autobiographer, essayist With the publication of his autobiography, Manchild in the Promised Land, and its realistic and troubling account of black urban life, Claude Brown helped invigorate the growing debate on civil rights in the 1960s. Brown depicted the despair and brutality of life in Harlem in vivid detail, but his work also speaks to the hope that exists within the African-American community for transcending the constraints of such socially and racially oppressive environments.

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