The African literature is highly diversified, although it also shows similarities. In fact,the common denominator of the cultures of the African continent is undoubtedly the oral tradition. Writing in black Africa started in the Middle Ages with the introduction of the Arabic language and later, in the 19th century of the Latin alphabet. Since 1934, with the birth of the "Negritude", African authors began to write in French or in English. Since the 1960''s quantitative and qualitative changes could be observed in the field of publication in both Francophone and Anglophone states. The main objective of the present work is to give an overview of the origin and the role of griots in the African society, the different components of the oral tradition, and the major trends in the development of the African literature. The study of the Negritude movement encompasses the historical context, definition and authors, ideological contradictions, the left wing of the Negritude, and the "Theory of the African Personality" in Anglophone countries. The monography provides as well current trends in the African literature after 1960 and the reception of a panel of African authors.