Timeline provided by the editors of African-American Literature: An Anthology (which my students can read from the text)
--Slavery (1700s-1865)Not in the Anthology (which was published in 1998):
--Post-Civil War, Reconstruction and Reaction (1865-1920)
--The Harlem Renaissance (Early 1920s-Early 1930s)
--Social Changes and Civil Rights (Mid-1930s to Mid-1960s)
--Black Power Movement (Early 1960s to the Mid-1970s)
--Building on the Tradition (Mid-1970s-Present
--Age of Barack Obama and Beyond (2009-Present)___________________________________________The election of President Obama has definitely been a turning point in American History and will, no doubt, inspire future African-American Literature. However, Obama's administration has already suffered some backlash in that the radical right has tried to minimize President Obama's power base by creating anti-Obama sentiment during town hall meetings and at political gatherings. Some political analysts on the far left believe that there is a racist aspect to this growing conservative discontent, but I suspect that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. No doubt that racists still exist in the U.S., but nothing like the old time racists that I remember in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Five years ago (in 2004), had someone had predicted that the United States would, in 2008, elect an African-American president, I would have thought he or she were way off base and indulging in a pipe dream, but here we are...
As of now, it is unclear what impact the Age of Barack Obama will have 25, 50, 100 years from now. Is the Age of Obama a trend or an historical aberration? Stay tuned...
There is an excellent historical timeline (1619-present) at Infoplease.com, complete with links to specific events. Also, Wikipedia offers a fairly concise, yet thorough, narrative.