Using Trauma to Create Self-Empowerment in Female African American Protagonists

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies

Organizational Unit

University College, Arts and Culture Management


Arts and Culture

First Advisor

Jennifer Golightly


African American women writers, Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Trauma, Voice, Zora Neale Hurston


Most African American literature of the twentieth century reflects the long journey from slavery, when slave narratives provided an outlet of expression, to the novel, which provided a venue for commentary amidst a changing political world. Female African American authors especially found a voice in this process and reflected African American women's struggles against stereotypes and oppression that abused and silenced them many times over. Three important elements are prominent in female African American novels: self-actualization, community, and unbridled expression of love. The importance of language and voice was a common factor among these three elements, and all were used as significant aspects to character development.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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