Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name


Afro-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Richard A. Long


Paule Marshall has charged that the portrayal of the black woman in literature has been limited to stereotypes and fantasy figures, and that the writers of fiction have not presented the black woman as a complex and credible character. In her challenge to black writers to create such complex characters, Paule Marshall cites her own works as exemplary models of how the black woman should be portrayed. A careful examination of the black woman as a character in Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones, Soul Clap Hands and Sing and The Chosen Place, The Timeless People demonstrates that Paule Marshall provides in her fiction realistic representations of the black woman.

In these works the black woman appears in a variety of plots, settings and conflicts which depicts the many dimensions of black womanhood. Paule Marshall captures the strengths and weaknesses of women struggling for survival, surmounting obstacles to realize goals, and searching for identity. Through a combination of diversified characterizations, Paule Marshall projects positive images of the black woman.