Introduction (Identities & Issues in Literature)
In the eighteenth century, when the empirical theories of English thinkers John Locke and Sir Isaac Newton were shaping American literature generally, the African American presence in America added a new dimension to the cultural identity of American literature. Since African Americans were involuntarily transported into a new environment, their cultural transition became the source of their literary creativity as well as a historical contribution. With the passage of time, African American writers infused new perspectives into the literary canon through experimentation and through revisions of existing conventions.
(The entire section is 88 words.)
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