Inhibiting Midwives, Usurping Creators: The Struggling Emergence of Black Women in American Fiction

  • Sondra O’Neale
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)


One ostensible phenomenon in the literature by and about black Americans which has been written since the 1960s is the disclosure of those aspects of black personality that were heretofore hidden from the white world. Many of those unsurfaced aspects have been historically weapons of survival, weapons that of necessity have obfuscated the truth about black identity. The noted poet Paul Laurence Dunbar has most aptly called the veneer that blacks have worn in life and literature the “mask” we wear “that grins and lies and hides our sighs.”1


Sugar Dust Depression Torque Cage 


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    Toni Morrison, “What the Black Woman Thinks about Women’s Lib,” New York Times Magazine, August 22, 1971.Google Scholar
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    See Frank Snowden, Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983 )Google Scholar
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© The Regents of the University of Wisconsin System 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sondra O’Neale

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