Slave Narratives

Front Cover
Library of America, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 1035 pages
5 Reviews
"No literary genre speaks as directly and as eloquently to the brutal contradictions in American history as the slave narrative. The works collected in this volume present unflinching portrayals of the cruelty and degradation of slavery while testifying to the African-American struggle for freedom and dignity. They demonstrate the power of the written word to affirm a person's -- and a people's -- humanity in a society poisoned by racism. Slave Narratives shows how a diverse group of writers challenged the conscience of a nation and, through their expression of anger, pain, sorrow, and courage, laid the foundations of the African-American literary tradition. This volume collects ten works published between 1772 and 1864: Two narratives by James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw (1772) and Olaudah Equiano (1789) recount how they were taken from Africa as children and brought across the Atlantic to British North America; The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831) provides unique insight into the man who led the deadliest slave uprising in American history; The widely read narratives by the fugitive slaves Frederick Douglass (1845), William Wells Brown (1847), and Henry Bibb (1849) strengthened the abolitionist cause by exposing the hypocrisies inherent in a slaveholding society ostensibly dedicated to liberty and Christian morality;The Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1850) describes slavery in the North while expressing the eloquent fervor of a dedicated woman; Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860) tells the story of William and Ellen Craft's subversive and ingenious escape from Georgia to Philadelphia; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) is Harriet Jacobs's complex and moving story of her prolonged resistance to sexual and racial oppression; and the narrative of the "trickster" Jacob Green (1864) presents a disturbing story full of wild humor and intense cruelty. Together, these works fuse memory, advocacy, and defiance into a searing collective portrait of American life before emancipation. Slave Narratives contains a chronology of events in the history of slavery, as well as biographical and explanatory notes and an essay on the texts."--Publisher's description.
  

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Review: Slave Narratives (Library of America #114)

User Review  - Lawrence Mceachin - Goodreads

A great read for all audiences. For me, it brought out the true struggles slaves went through. It was even sometimes humorous!! Read full review

Review: Slave Narratives

User Review  - Goodreads

A great read for all audiences. For me, it brought out the true struggles slaves went through. It was even sometimes humorous!! Read full review

Contents

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw
1
Olaudah Equiano
35
The authors account of his country their manners
49
CHAP II
65
CHAP III
80
CHAP IV
94
CHAP V
112
CHAP VI
129
Nat Turner
243
Frederick Douglass
267
William Wells Brown
369
Henry Bibb
425
Sojourner Truth
567
William and Ellen Craft
677
Harriet Ann Jacobs
743
Green
949

CHAP VII
147
CHAP VIII
160
CHAP IX
173
Chronology
1001
Note on the Texts
1014
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of To Tell a Free Story and editor or coeditor of more than thirty books on African American literature.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Africana Studies at Cornell University, and also tenured at Yale, Duke, and Harvard, where he was appointed W.E.B. DuBois professor of humanities in 1991. Professor Gates is the author of Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self, Wonders of the African World, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, Loose Cannons: Notes on the Culture Wars, and Colored People: A Memoir. With Cornel West, he co-wrote The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country and The Future of the Race. He is also the editor of the critically-acclaimed edition of Our Nig, an annotated reprint of Harriet E. Wilson's 1859 novel, The Slave's Narrative (with the late Charles T. Davis), Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Six Women's Slave Narratives, and In the House of Oshugbo: Critical Essays on Wole Soyinka. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize.