The short story is an important narrative form in the United States where it has maintained popularity over its long history dating from the eighteenth century. The emphasis for this course centers on the development of the short story in African American literature as well as on the prevalent issues and themes in African American literature. Many black writers have found that the short story form provides a viable structure in which to present varied topics from African American life, history, and culture. Readings in this course will include short stories by a broad spectrum of African American writers from the nineteenth century through to the twenty-first century. And participants in the course will encounter a plethora of subjects addressed in African American literature ever since Frances E. W. Harper published, in 1859, the first known short story by an African American writer.