By Lori Spencer

African American fiction encompasses many different genres of popular literature. Numerous best-selling mystery novels, Westerns, historical dramas, romances, and short stories have been penned by black authors. Anthologies of classic African American fiction are also consistently strong sellers in the trade books marketplace. Traditionally, American black fiction has been divided into four distinct categories: Colonial Literature (1740s – early 1900s), Harlem Renaissance (1917 – 1940), Post-Harlem Renaissance (1940 – 1980), and Contemporary Fiction (1980 – present).



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