Publisher description for Saints, sinners, saviors : strong Black women in African American literature / Trudier Harris.

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Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature explores the idea of strength as a frequently contradictory and damaging trait for black women characters in major literary works of the 20th century. Looking at work by Hansberry, Morrison, Bambara, West, Gaines, Reed, and others, Trudier Harris shows how writers draw upon popular images of African American women in producing what they believe to be safe literary representations. She argues forcefully that the portrayal of women characters as strong is problematic in African American literature, and this pattern has become so pronounced that it has stifled the literature.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: American literature African American authors History and criticism, Women and literature United States History 20th century, American literature 20th century History and criticism, African Americans Intellectual life 20th century, African American women in literature, Women in literature