The Wife of His Youth

The "Old" Discussion of Race in America College

New literary developments in the late 19th century carried with them the expansion of African American literature, providing a voice to a previously unheard people. The opinions and ideals expressed by these writers were manifold as they came from a diverse, swiftly growing population who were only just beginning to realize the intensity and magnitude of their own needs as a community. Each of these writers, naturally, had their own perspectives, agendas, and primary interests. For example, Charles Chesnutt seemed more determined to convince his black and white audience that their perceived dissimilarities are becoming slighter and less visible as new identities develop and potentials arise. Pauline Hopkins, on the other hand, appeared to be more fascinated by the plight of the female in general, but particularly the phenomena of the African American woman’s experience. Both of these writers, respectively, have individual motives and strongly advocate for those beliefs, through writing, education, and speeches.

The concepts conveyed by these authors was part of their attempts to lend a voice to and create a space in society, free of discrimination, for the development of the rapidly evolving African American populace. Chesnutt...

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