Black Fiction The African-American Experience Research Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Black Studies Type: Research Paper Paper: #40685069 Related Topics: African American Studies, African American, African, American Literature
Excerpt from Research Paper :

This story clearly outlines the level of difference and separation that is experienced by many members of the African-American community in a variety of ways, and most clearly deals with the economic impact and institutional nature of the racism this community has experienced.

Another very interesting perspective is provided in McPherson's memoir regarding his own experiences, Crabcakes (1999). Many different episodes reflecting sometimes subtle and sometimes quite obvious differences in perspective appear in this memoir, yet one strain that appears significant several times is the role of religion -- and more specifically, of Church -- in the development of the African-American community and African-American individuals. Again, a clear lack of consensus amongst the community is seen here, as some individuals are very religious while others regard it with outright contempt, yet there is also a cohesion in the Church-centered communities that exist. This makes for an interesting juxtaposition of perspectives regarding religion and the Church that adds another layer of complexity to the tapestry of this community.

Flinn's short story "The Black Sheep" from his collection it Happened in Hoboken takes a somewhat more humorous look at the "outsider" perspective that is a common occurrence in the African-American community, yet there are also poignant and telling commentaries laced throughout this story, as well. The narrator and titular


The narrator is amazed at the level of expense and extravagance that is spent on the wedding, and the lack of time for enjoying everything that occurs. Though he is not explicitly judgmental, it is clear that this narrator has a very different view on what would make a good wedding, and he even reflects on what his wedding to his wife would have been like if it had been a large church wedding. This character is more bemused by the degree to which he is outside this wedding and this family more than he is upset by it, which is markedly different form many other individuals in the African-American community both in life and in literature.

Throughout McPherson and Flinn's stories, a variety of different characters with vastly different perspectives are encountered. The similarities found are a common struggle to create a sense of identity in relation to the wider world, but the manners in which this identity is created and what this identity consist of varies from character to character. All people have different approaches to and perspectives on life; realizing and celebrating this is the true African-American experience.


Flinn, E. (1999). It Happened in Hoboken. BookSurge.

McPherson, J. (1977). Elbow Room. Fawcett.

McPherson, J. (1999).…

Sources Used in Documents:


Flinn, E. (1999). It Happened in Hoboken. BookSurge.

McPherson, J. (1977). Elbow Room. Fawcett.

McPherson, J. (1999). Crabcakes. New York: Touchstone.

Cite this Document:

"Black Fiction The African-American Experience" (2011, March 16) Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

"Black Fiction The African-American Experience" 16 March 2011. Web.21 January. 2022. <>

"Black Fiction The African-American Experience", 16 March 2011, Accessed.21 January. 2022,

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