This thesis explores contemporary literature in light of Kenneth W. Warren s critical study, What Was African American Literature? (2011). It investigates six African American novels published during President Barack Obama s time in office in order to determine the degree of racial constraints in contemporary works within the genre. This thesis offers a comparison between classic and new novels to prove the continuity between the literary racial constraints then and now, and in the attempt it applies Gene Andrew Jarrett s theory about the juxtaposition between racial realism and anomalies in African American literary history. While entering a discussion on racial expectations, the focus of this work is upon racial realism s role in solidifying stereotypes, and how this still drives the production of African American literature to a large degree today.