Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794-1861 / Edition 1

Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794-1861 / Edition 1

by John Ernest
     
 

ISBN-10: 080782853X

ISBN-13: 9780807828533

Pub. Date: 04/26/2004

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

As the story of the United States was recorded in pages written by white historians, early-nineteenth-century African American writers faced the task of piecing together a counterhistory: an approach to history that would present both the necessity of and the means for the liberation of the oppressed. In Liberation Historiography, John Ernest

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Overview

As the story of the United States was recorded in pages written by white historians, early-nineteenth-century African American writers faced the task of piecing together a counterhistory: an approach to history that would present both the necessity of and the means for the liberation of the oppressed. In Liberation Historiography, John Ernest demonstrates that African Americans created a body of writing in which the spiritual, the historical, and the political are inextricably connected. Their literature serves not only as historical recovery but also as historical intervention.

Ernest studies various cultural forms including orations, books, pamphlets, autobiographical narratives, and black press articles. He shows how writers such as Martin R. Delany, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Harriet Jacobs crafted their texts in order to resituate their readers in a newly envisioned community of faith and moral duty. Antebellum African American historical representation, Ernest concludes, was both a reading of source material on black lives and an unreading of white nationalist history through an act of moral imagination.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807828533
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
04/26/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The theater of history39
2Scattered lives, scattered documents : writing liberation history95
3Multiple lives and lost narratives : (auto)biography as history155
4The assembly of history : orations and conventions219
5Our warfare lies in the field of thought : the African American press and the work of history277
Epilogue : William Wells Brown and the performance of history331
Notes345
Bibliography389
Index413

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