Here is the place where you will find everything about Africa and African-American art, culture, literature and books set in Africa or using an African
theme. There are also books about slavery, racism, and relationships between black and white people. This includes books by African, African-American
or Black-American authors as well as white authors. These are sensitive and painful issues, and many of the books, particularly by African-American authors
portray these themes in a brutally honest way.
I realize that some books, such as those by Mark Twain have been banned in some schools because of the use of the word "nigger." I want to state strongly that I totally condemn the use of racial slurs, or any word that insults or degrades any group of people because of their race, ethnic background, skin color, sexual orientation, religious belief or any other aspect of humanity that makes us individual. However, I do not condemn fine literature that honestly expresses the human condition or historical perceptions.
Nevertheless, the more African-American literature I read, (that is, books written by African-Americans), particularly books set in the post-war South, the more I see that "n" word showing up. And it is not used in an insulting way, it is simply used to refer to slaves or black people, often spoken by Southern blacks and written phonetically. And that includes works by Twain, who was not racist and supported an end to slavery. So I did a little research on the origins of that word, and the result is mostly what I suspected: Wikipedia says, "The word originated as a neutral term referring to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger ("color black")." And also from Wikipedia: "Among Anglophones, the word nigger was not always considered derogatory, because it then denoted "black-skinned", a common Anglophone usage. Nineteenth-century English (language) literature features usages of nigger without racist connotation, e.g. the Joseph Conrad novella The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897)." However, the African-American Registry website is less lenient, stating that since the early 1800's the word had derogatory connotations, although they also state that "It is probable that nigger is a phonetic spelling of the White Southern mispronunciation of Negro." This website provides an in-depth article on the history of this word and other racial slurs. It also provides a wealth of educational material concerning Black Americans.
In any case, I personally am very interested in learning about and understanding the Black perspective. I have a wealth of books concerning Africa and African-Americans, so this index will be rapidly populated. These are awesome books! I hope you will explore them.