As early as the 17th century, the works of African American writers have contributed to American history. From the call to end slavery, to the civil rights movement, to the changing landscape of race relations today, black writers have taken to their keyboards to influence the events of their time.
The works of African American writers are usually featured during Black History Month in February, the annual recognition of the achievements made by blacks and the role African Americans played in U.S. history.
|Carter G. Woodson|
Carter, the author of The Mis-Education of the Negro, realized that the role of blacks in American history had been ignored. In 1926, Woodson started what he called, "Negro History Week," to acknowledge the contributions of blacks in U.S. history.
Woodson wanted the event to occur each year in the second week of February—between the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two historical figures who played prominent roles in the history of African Americans.
Black Writers Through The Centuries
Before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which granted freedom to slaves effective January 1, 1863, African American authors and poets, like Phillis Wheatly and George Moses Horton, infused their writings were desires to escape from slavery.