Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 February 2023
African American women writers of the 1980s were arguably the beneficiaries of cultural and political phenomena that held sway during the 1970s and 1980s. One of the major tenets and accomplishments of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Aesthetic of the 1960s was the validation of Black voices that came from within Black communities, drew upon the culture of Black communities -- especially the use of music and the vernacular -- and posited the validity, reality, and truth of that culture. Black women writers of the 1980s provide a logical progression from those communal assertions of value and freedom to extending the possibilities for such expression. This chapter considers the contributions of writers such as Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, Octavia Butler, Gloria Nayor, Sherley Anne Williams, and Toni Morrison as writers who extend and liberate creative and cultural possibilities initiated in earlier decades.
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