What is meant by African-American criticism?

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The term African-American refers to the tradition of literary criticism in the geographical space of the U.S.A., but which finds its intellectual roots in African traditions.

The most important thinker in the area is Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who, while adapting traditional African tropes and myths to formulate his theories, prefers the term “African – American” as being less ethnocentric.

African-American literary theory was born in the assumption that texts of Black writers cannot and must not be judged with criteria derived from the “white” tradition. Moreover, African-American literature has been inextricably linked to a political practice that has been in an antagonistic relation with the established white Christian one.

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