Chapter 12. African American Literary Realism, 1865–1914

  1. Gene Andrew Jarrett Associate Professor of English former Acting Director
  1. Andreá N. Williams Assistant Professor of English

Published Online: 30 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323474.ch12

A Companion to African American Literature

A Companion to African American Literature

How to Cite

Williams, A. N. (2010) African American Literary Realism, 1865–1914, in A Companion to African American Literature (ed G. A. Jarrett), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323474.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Boston University, England

Author Information

  1. Ohio State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188623

Online ISBN: 9781444323474



  • African American literary realism, 1865 – 1914;
  • The Negro in Books (1916) - Charles W. Chesnutt;
  • Sterling Brown and Arthur P. Davis - literary scholars identifying postbellum black literature;
  • the emergence of African American literary realism;
  • realism - reflecting social reality and constructing it;
  • racial realism - literature offering authentic portrayals of black experience for the expressed purpose of producing material effects;
  • sentimentalism - significant mode for inciting reform in favor of black civil rights


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Emergence of African American Literary Realism

  • Local Color and Regionalism

  • Domestic Realism

  • Naturalism and African American Fiction

  • Categorical Misfits and Realist Innovations

  • Bibliography