The African American voice is distinctive. Their history is different from that of their European neighbors and this different nurturing impacts every facet of their lives, including how to express themselves artistically. Their writing style has much of the cadence and character present in Black speech patterns, bringing the reader right into the Black experience. The Black viewpoint is unique and seeing the world through Black eyes adds dimension and depth to readers' perceptions. Modern African American authors capture this underrepresented segment of society with dimension and clarity.
African American women authors have a special place within this category. With a prominent role in the family and society, their voice is strong and distinctive. Whether crafting poetry, short stories, memoirs, or novels, the vibrant personalities of the authors always shine through.
Black writing explores many themes but a reoccurring focus is the exploration of freedom, equality, and self expression. Striving for these basic rights has been such a large part of the Black American experience that it is entrenched in the minds of its authors and naturally comes through in their writing. Modern African American authors encourage their readers to examine their preconceptions, whether openly or more subtly.
Poetry is a big part of African American oral culture, and has become an essential part of much Black literature as well. African American women authors have a prominent place in this genre; Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry in 1949. Popular female authors of today include Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker. Each is clearly a Black voice, distinctive and resonant. The richness of their pieces always leaves the reader changed. There is no finer compliment to offer fine literature.