To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865

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University of Illinois Press, 1988 - 353 pages
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To Tell A Free Story traces in unprecedented detail the history of Black autobiography from the colonial era through Emancipation. Beginning with the 1760 narrative by Briton Hammond, William L. Andrews explores first-person public writings by Black Americans. Andrews includes but also goes beyond slave narratives to analyze spiritual biographies, criminal confessions, captivity stories, travel accounts, interviews, and memoirs. As he shows, Black writers continuously faced the fact that northern whites often refused to accept their stories and memories as sincere, and especially distrusted portraits of southern whites as inhuman. Black writers had to silence parts of their stories or rely on subversive methods to make facts tellable while contending with the sensibilities of the white editors, publishers, and readers they relied upon and hoped to reach.

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To tell a free story: the first century of Afro-American autobiography, 1769-1865

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Andrews describes and analyzes many autobiographies here, but his primary focus is on "slave narratives'' by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs (a.k.a. Linda Brent), and J. D. Green. He convincingly ... Consulter l'avis complet

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Table des matières

The First Century of AfroAmerican Autobiography Notes toward a Definition of a Genre
1
Voices of the First Fifty Years 17601810
32
Experiments in Two Modes 181040
61
The Performance of Slave Narrative in the 1840s
97
The Uses of Marginality 185065
167
Culmination of a Century The Autobiographies of J D Green Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs
205
Free at Last From Discourse to Dialogue in the Novelized Autobiography
265
Notes
293
Annotated Bibliography of AfroAmerican Autobiography 17601865
333
Annotated Bibliography of AfroAmerican Biography 17601865
343
Index
349
Note on the Author
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À propos de l'auteur (1988)

William L. Andrews, a native Virginian, is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt, and the editor of Literary Romanticism in America, Critical Essays on W.E. B. DuBois, Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women's Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century, and a new edition of My Bondage and My Freedom (forthcoming from Illinois in 1987).

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