Black Victorians/Black Victoriana / Edition 1

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Overview

"Using a rich diversity of approaches, these essays give voice to hitherto unheard stories and provide historical and theoretical frameworks in which to understand them. Reading the volume creates an exciting feeling of discovery."-Margaret Homans, Yale University

Black Victorians/Black Victoriana is a welcome attempt to correct the historical record. Although scholarship has given us a clear view of nineteenth-century imperialism, colonialism, and later immigration from the colonies, there has for far too long been a gap in our understanding of the lives of blacks in Victorian England. Without that understanding, it remains impossible to assess adequately the state of the black population in Britain today. Using a transatlantic lens, the contributors to this book restore black Victorians to the British national picture. They look not just at the ways blacks were represented in popular culture but also at their lives as they experienced them-as workers, travelers, lecturers, performers, and professionals. Dozens of period photographs bring these stories alive and literally give a face to the individual stories the book tells.

The essays taken as a whole also highlight prevailing Victorian attitudes toward race by focusing on the ways in which empire building spawned a "subculture of blackness" consisting of caricature, exhibition, representation, and scientific racism absorbed by society at large. This misrepresentation made it difficult to be both black and British while at the same time it helped to construct British identity as a whole. Covering many topics that detail the life of blacks during this period, Black Victorians/Black Victoriana will be a landmark contribution to the emergent field of black history in England.

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is a professor of English at Vassar College. Her book Black London (Rutgers University Press) was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is also the author of Carrington, whose life story was made into a film starring Emma Thompson.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813532158
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Black Victorian Experience in Britain
Queen Victoria's Black "Daughter" 11
Pablo Fanque, Black Circus Proprietor 20
Reexamining the Early Years of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Composer 39
Tracing Peoples of African Origin and Descent in Victorian Kent 51
Pt. II Transatlanticism and the Migration of Black Victorians
Mrs. Seacole's Wonderful Adventures in Many Lands and the Consciousness of Transit 71
"A Colored Woman in Another Country Pleading for Justice in Her Own": Ida B. Wells in Great Britain 88
"No Longer Rare Birds in London": Zulu, Ndebele, Gaza, and Swasi Envoys to England, 1882-1894 110
Pt. III Representations, Conceptualizations, and Discourses of Black Victorians
The Representation of Africa in Mid-Victorian Children's Magazines 145
The Blackface Clown 159
Anti-Imperial London: The Pan-African Conference of 1900 175
Reconstructing Victorian Racial Discourse: Images of Race, the Language of Race Relations, and the Context of Black Resistance 187
Notes on the Contributors 209
Index 211
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