Last Updated August 17, 2023.
Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) offers an autobiographical look at the American Black experience. This book provides a feminine perspective of the effects of racism.
The Wedding Band (1966), a play by Alice Childress examines racism and intolerance through the eyes of a couple who are trying to find acceptance for their interracial love affair. Because the subject was so controversial, the play was not produced until several years after it was written.
A Raisin in the Sun (1959) by Lorraine Hansberry also explores segregation, racism, and the lack of economic opportunities that beset African Americans. The integration of white neighborhoods by minority families is still an important issue nearly forty years after this play was first produced.
The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker is a fictional look at the effects of segregation and racism both within Black culture and between Black and white people. The novel (and Steven Spielberg's later movie adaptation) celebrate the strength of Black women.
Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (1970) examines what it means to grow up Black and female in America. Morrison explores how white standards of beauty affect young Black girls, and she looks at the nature of the relationship between Black and white women.
The Piano Lesson, another play by August Wilson was first performed in 1987. This play probes the conflicts between traditional values and the need to change to better survive the future.