Bruck, Peter. “Protest, Universality, Blackness: Patterns of Argumentation in the Criticism of the Contemporary Afro-American Novel.” In The Afro-American Novel Since 1960, edited by Peter Bruck and Wolfgang Karrer. Amsterdam: Grüner, 1982. Discusses how postwar African American literature and criticism are codified by the aesthetic standards established by Black Nationalists during the 1920’s. Mentions how such writers as Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Alain Locke saw a distinct correlation between literary and political thought. Provides a context for the literary aesthetic and politics of Williams’s writings.
Bryant, Jerry H. Victims and Heroes: Racial Violence in the African American Novel. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997. Includes a chapter on the relationship between realism and violence in Williams’s novels.
Cash, Earl A. John A. Williams: The Evolution of a Black Writer. New York: Third Press, 1975. The first book-length study of Williams’s work, both nonfiction and fiction. Provides cogent discussion of the double literary standard historically applied to African American work and sets out to explode such standards. Sees Captain Blackman as making two major points: that African Americans will continue to be trapped by history until they recognize that they can learn from it and...
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