The distinguished body of short stories depicting African Americans in the western United States has long been overlooked, and for a number of reasons: black writers were historically denied publication in white journals, American publishers have tended to show a bias towards East Coast fiction, and the short story has frequently been neglected in literary circles. In response to this lack of recognition, Bruce Glasrud and Laurie Champion have compiled "The African-American West: A Century of Short Stories."
The beginning of the twentieth century saw western American writers giving new meaning to the literature portraying African Americans. Rather than reproducing the racial stereotypes and condescending dialogue found in past fiction of the eastern United States, these authors portrayed black Americans seeking new lives.
Ranging from early twentieth-century writers such as Charles Chesnutt to contemporary authors such as Walter Mosley, the works in "The African American West" demonstrate how the West, as seen through the eyes of African Americans, has evolved over the last century. Glasrud, a historian, and Champion, a literary scholar, combine their varying areas of expertise in "The African American West, " and their introductions to each chapter of the book provide both literary and historical insight into the African American experience in the West. Containing forty-six short stories as well as an extensive bibliography, this volume is an excellent resource for scholars of modern literature and African American history and culture.