Six books about Black lives in American fiction

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Racial discrimination is one of the social evils which had took the lives of a whole lot of innocent people. This evil has not only killed people, it has also made life miserable for many. Even the so called “most civilized society” in the world could not free itself from this social evil and in fact it has been stage for the most alarming cases we had ever heard. There were a whole lot of legislations implemented aiming to prevent this, and it has helped at least for developing a public opinion against racial discrimination.

People around the world have raised their voice against this evil in whatever ways possible and one such strong means was through literature. Several authors have shared either their experiences or some strong stories which had acted as an eye opener for many people. The realistic stories have created an empathetic attitude among general public. Some books are:

The help

The Help is a historical fiction novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. The thrust of the book is the collaborative project between the white Skeeter and the struggling, exploited “colored” help, who together are writing a book of true stories about their experiences as the ‘help’ to the white women of Jackson. Not all the stories are negative, and some describe beautiful and generous, loving and kind events; while others are cruel and even brutal. The book, entitled “Help” is finally published, and the final chapters of “The Help” describes the aftermath of the book’s success.

To kill a mocking bird

o Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by the American author Harper Lee. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was ten. The historian Joseph Crespino explains, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its main character, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.” However, reaction to the novel varied widely upon publication.

Uncle tom’s cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in two volumes in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S., and is said to have “helped lay the groundwork for the American Civil War”. This is one great book which could not be ignored while we discuss racism.

Roots: The Saga of an American

Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a 1976 novel written by Alex Haley. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent, sold into slavery in Africa, and transported to North America; it follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Haley. It stimulated interest in African American genealogy and an appreciation for African-American history.

The color purple

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The story revolves around Celie a young poor, uneducated 14-year-old African-American teenager girl living in the Southern United States in the early 1900s. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000–2009 at number seventeenth because of the sometimes-explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.


Beloved is a 1987 novel by the American writer Toni Morrison. Set after the American Civil War, it tells the story of a family of formerly enslaved people whose Cincinnati home is haunted by a malevolent spirit. Beloved is inspired by an event that actually happened: Margaret Garner, an enslaved person in Kentucky, who escaped and fled to the free state of Ohio in 1856. She was subject to capture in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850; when U.S. marshals burst into the cabin where Garner and her husband had barricaded themselves, she was attempting to kill her children, and had already killed her two-year-old daughter, to spare them from being returned to slavery.

It is of severe concern that even in today’s world where borders merely exist, people are discriminated and even killed on grounds of their color, caste, creed or race. These books could be an eye opener for all those who believe themselves to be superior than others merely on ground of their genetic roots.

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