The Black Book Project: What kinds of important research questions are we asking?

Based on our collection of some
2000 novels, most of which are neither widely read nor taught, we see the digital
medium as a
way to provide new levels
access, consolidate a large
amount of data and
invite new questions. What patterns exist among book
titles, word count and chapter structure
the novels? What are the terms and examples do authors use to describe race and racial
tension, and how does this
shift over time?
Which African American authors
are inclined to use unique words and phrases? How many and which
prominent historical figures make appearances in the novels? How much do the novelists represent variations of standard
African American
in their works? What physical
distinct regions are
described in the novels, and what common words and phrases
used to describe those places? How do stylistic preferences differ from writer to writer? How do these questions alter current organizing premises/theories about black novels?