ENG 258 : African-American Literature

Introduces the literature of Americans whose roots are in Africa. Emphasizes the way contemporary political and social aspirations of African Americans are reflected in the literature of the periods from the Harlem Renaissance through the present.

Surveys the creative literature of black writers in the United States with special attention given to the social and symbolic environments from which they emerged, protest against racist violence, socioeconomic mobility, and creation of a modern day Black aesthetic.


Equivalent placement test scores also accepted.

Course Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • Analyze AfricanAmerican literature from the Harlem Renaissance to the present to identify themes about race, ethnicity, and culture and recognize the contribution of AfricanAmerican writers to recreate cultural identity.
  • Examine the intersection of economics, history, culture, politics, religion, and gender to AfricanAmerican literature.
  • Perform textual analysis by using literary terminology and theory to examine relationships between literary forms and themes.
  • Identify the relationship between AfricanAmerican literary forms and Black vernacular (gospel, blues, jazz, sermons, stories, and the oral tradition).
  • Write coherent academic essays that explore the complexity of the literature.

Additional Information

This course fulfills the following GE requirements: Cultural Literacy, Arts and Letters/AAOT, Arts and Letters/AS, Arts and Letters/AAS, Arts and Letters/AGS, Arts and Letters/ASOT-B.

Course Adoption Date

Course Revision Date





Grading Options

Letter Grades


Audit Available