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The Voices of African American Women

The Use of Narrative and Authorial Voice in the Works of Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alice Walker


Yvonne Johnson

During the last half of the twentieth century, a group of historically neglected but extremely powerful voices has emerged from the African American literary tradition. The voices of African American women have gathered strength from the suppressed tongues of their foremothers to provide insight into the history, psyche, and spirit of the African American woman. Professor Johnson examines the narrative strategies, with particular emphasis on the authorial and narrative voices, of three texts written by African American women: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.