Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Most scholars, writers, and readers might agree that African American literature consists of orature (oral literary creations) and writings by people of African descent in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Once we move beyond so simple a definition, we forced to navigate a swamp of competing claims.
The definition of what was called Negro literature from the colonial period up to the 1960s was challenged by two of LeRoi Jones' (Amiri Baraka's) essays ---"Myth of a Negro Literature" and "Black Writing" --in Home: Social Essays (New York: William Morrow, 1966). Following the spirit of Richard Wright's "Blueprint for Negro Writing" (1937), Baraka argued successfully that Negro literature was created more for the inspection of white people than as a body of work that directly addressed the needs of African Americans; he called for black writing or black (African American) literature that would speak directly to black people. Thus, a new definition of African American literature came into being in the 1960s.