Various strategies for coping have surfaced in the uncertain, arduous, and frequently faltering struggle by black Americans for equality of opportunity, coping strategies characterized variously as carefully considered judgments or mere reactions devoid of ideological commitment. These efforts have engaged the attention of historians, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and other scholars motivated by a perceived obligation to explicate the nature of the struggle and articulate viable modes for ameliorating the effects of discrimination. Literary artists have also manifested a similar interest by using the medium of imaginative literature to illuminate and dramatize the realities of the historical situation.

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