African American Slave Narratives [3 volumes]: An Anthology

Overview

African American slave narratives of the 19th century recorded the atrocities of the antebellum South and provided a solid foundation for the African American literary tradition. By presenting 16 slave narratives in their entirety, this reference conveniently documents this historically significant literary genre. A vivid and moving history of African Americans seeking to establish community, liberty, economic independence, and education within the constraints of a repressive society. This reference intentionally...

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Overview

African American slave narratives of the 19th century recorded the atrocities of the antebellum South and provided a solid foundation for the African American literary tradition. By presenting 16 slave narratives in their entirety, this reference conveniently documents this historically significant literary genre. A vivid and moving history of African Americans seeking to establish community, liberty, economic independence, and education within the constraints of a repressive society. This reference intentionally avoids well-known narratives and instead collects unavailable and otherwise difficult-to-find texts. To add to the value of the work for researchers and general readers alike, each narrative is accompanied by a preface, explanatory notes, and suggestions for further reading.

Many of the narratives gathered here were influential when initially published; Josiah Henson's presentation of himself, for example, embodies many of the characteristics given to Uncle Tom by Harriet Beecher Stowe in her novel Uncle ToM's Cabin. While other collections often only provide excerpts from widely available texts, this reference includes complete narratives. The introductions and annotations redefine current thinking in the field by closely examining how these authors used language, structured their writing, and crafted their autobiographies. By examining the historical, cultural, literary, and social issues that African Americans have faced since their arrival, this reference provides the broad context necessary to understand the literary, historical, and intellectual traditions from which these writings developed.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Slave narratives formed an important literary genre in mid- 19th century America playing a role both in the changing of opinion on the issue of American slavery and in the formation of the continuing themes and concerns of African American literature in general. The best known of the 77 published slave narratives is the work of , but Bland literature, Rutgers U. believes that many of the lesser known works are well worth studying and here brings together 16 unexpurgated narratives. For each narrative he provides contextualizing historical and thematic information. Among the more interesting entries are , the insurrectionary leader; the narrative of Henry Walton Bibb, a man who, after gaining his freedom, went back to slavery in an effort to free his mother; and the dictation of Lewis Clarke, who became the model for Harriet Beecher Stowe's character George Harris in . Bland has changed only what he saw as obvious errors in an effort to present the works in a form as close to the original published versions as possible. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313311680
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2001
  • Pages: 1056
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 3.62 (d)

Meet the Author

STERLING LECATER BLAND, JR. is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University. His previous publications include Voices of the Fugitives: Runaway Slave Stories and Their Fictions of Self-Creation Greenwood, 2000; also available as a Praeger paperback.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Bearing Witness: The Fugitive Slave Narrative and Its Traditions

Nat Turner: The Confessions of Nat Turner, The Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va 1831

Moses Roper: A Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper, from American Slavery

Henry Bib: Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave

Lunsford Lane: The Narrative of Lundsford Lane, Formerly of Raleigh, N.C. 1845

Lewis and Milton Clarke: Narratives of the Suffering of Lewis and Milton Clarke, Son of a Soldier of Slaveholders of Kentucky, One of the So Called Christian States of North America

William Hayden: Narrative of William Hayden, Containing A Faithful Account of His Travels for a Number of Years, Whilst a Slave, in the South

William Wells Brown: Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave

Henry "Box" Brown: Narrative of Henry Box Brown, Who Escaped from Slavery Enclosed in a Box 3 Feet Long by 2 Feet Wide

Josiah Henson: The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada

James W.C. Pennington: The Fugitive Blacksmith; or, Events in the History of James W.C. Pennington Pastor of a Presbyterian Church, New York, Formerly Slave in the State of Maryland, United States 1850

William Green: Narrative of the Events in the Life of William Green

John Thompson: The Life of John Thompson A Fugitive Slave, Containing His History of Twenty-five Years in Bondage, and His Providential Escape

Austin Stweart: Twenty-Two Years a Slave and Forty Years a Freeman: Embracing a Correspondence of Several Years, While President of Wilberforce Colony

NoahDavis: A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, A Colored Man

William and Ellen Craft: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery 1860

James Mars: Life of James Mars, A Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut

Bibliography

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