The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature, Volume 1 -  - ebook

The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature, Volume 1 ebook

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The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African AmericanLiterature is a comprehensive collection of poems, shortstories, novellas, novels, plays, autobiographies, and essaysauthored by African Americans from the eighteenth century until thepresent. Evenly divided into two volumes, it is also thefirst such anthology to be conceived and published for bothclassroom and online education in the new millennium. * Reflects the current scholarly and pedagogic structure ofAfrican American literary studies * Selects literary texts according to extensive research onclassroom adoptions, scholarship, and the expert opinions ofleading professors * Organizes literary texts according to more appropriate periodsof literary history, dividing them into seven sections thataccurately depict intellectual, cultural, and politicalmovements * Includes more reprints of entire works and longer selections ofmajor works than any other anthology of its kind * This first volume contains a comprehensive collection oftexts authored by African Americans from the eighteenth centuryuntil the 1920s The two volumes of this landmark anthology can also be boughtas a set, at over 20% savings.

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Contents

Editorial Advisory Board

Preface

Introduction

Principles of Selection and Editorial Procedures

Acknowledgments

Table of Contents (by Genre)

Part One: The Literatures of Africa, Middle Passage, and Slavery: c.1746–1830

Introduction

Lucy Terry (c.1730–1821)

Bars Fight

Briton Hammon (dates unknown)

Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man

Phillis Wheatley (c.1753–1784)

To Maecenas

To the University of Cambridge, in New-England

On Being Brought from Africa to America

On the Death of the Rev. Dr. Sewell. 1769

On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770

On the Death of a Young Lady of Five Years of Age

On Recollection

On Imagination

To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for North-America, &c.

To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works

A Farewell to America to Mrs. S.W.

Jupiter Hammon (1711–c.1806)

An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly, Ethiopian Poetess, in Boston, Who Came from Africa at Eight Years of Age, and Soon Became Acquainted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

John Marrant (1755–1791)

A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black

Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797)

Extracts from Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 10

Chapter 12

David Walker (c.1785–1830)

Extracts from Appeal in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America

Article 1

Article 2

Part Two: The Literatures of Slavery and Freedom: c.1830–1865

Introduction

Omar ibn Said (1770–1864)

Autobiography of Omar ibn Said, Slave in North Carolina

Frederick Douglass (1818–1895)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?: An Address Delivered in Rochester, New York, on 5 July 1852

William Wells Brown (1814–1884)

Narrative of William Wells Brown, an American Slave. Written by Himself.

The Escape; or, a Leap for Freedom:A Drama in Five Acts

Martin Robison Delany (1812–1885)

Extracts from The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 17

Chapter 23

Harriet E. Adams Wilson (1825–1900)

Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813–1897)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself.

Part Three: The Literatures of Reconstruction, Racial Uplift, and the New Negro: c.1865–1920

Introduction

Frank J. Webb (1828–1894)

Two Wolves and a Lamb

Marvin Hayle

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859–1930)

Peculiar Sam, or the Underground Railroad: A Musical Drama in Four Acts

Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858–1932)

What Is a White Man?

The Marrow of Tradition

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825–1911)

Aunt Chloe

The Deliverance

Aunt Chloe’s Politics

Learning to Read

Church Building

The Reunion

Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted

Anna Julia Cooper (1858–1964)

Extract from A Voice from the South

Womanhood: A Vital Element in the Regeneration and Progress of a Race

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906)

The Poet and His Song

Accountability

Frederick Douglass

A Prayer

Passion and Love

An Ante-Bellum Sermon

Ode to Ethiopia

Whittier1

A Banjo Song

To Louise

Alice

After the Quarrel

Beyond the Years

The Spellin’-Bee

A Negro Love Song

The Colored Soldiers

Nature and Art

When de Co’n Pone’s Hot

The Deserted Plantation

We Wear the Mask

Phyllis

When Malindy Sings

Extract from The Heart of Happy Hollow

The Lynching of Jube Benson

Booker T. Washington (1856–1915)

Extract from Up from Slavery

Chapter 14

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868–1963)

The Souls of Black Folk

James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Glossary

Timeline: 1746 to 1920

Name Index

Subject Index

Wiley Blackwell Anthologies

About the website

www.wiley.com/go/jarrett

 

TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature companion website features a wealth of resources created by the authors to help you use this book in university courses, whether you are an instructor or a student.

For Instructors and Students

Q & A with Gene Andrew Jarrett, Editor of the

Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature

Guide to Literary Categories

provides an alternative thematic table of contents

Useful Websites for Students

featuring links to a host of companion multime

dia materials

Key Issues and Themes

for each author and period, including questions for reflection

Glossary

Timeline

For Instructors

Useful Websites for Instructors

featuring links to a host of multimedia materials useful for sparking classroom discussion

Key Issues and Themes with Teaching Suggestions

designed to help instructors build their syllabi and plan their class lectures

Sample Syllabi

This edition first published 2014© John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Registered OfficeJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK

Editorial Offices350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148–5020, USA9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UKThe Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK

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The right of Gene Andrew Jarrett to be identified as the author of the editorial material in this work has been asserted in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature: Volume 1, 1746–1920 / edited by Gene Andrew Jarrett.        pages cm. – (Blackwell anthologies)    Includes index. ISBN 978-0-470-65800-0 (hardback) – ISBN 978-0-470-65799-7 (paper)1. American literature–African American authors. I. Jarrett, Gene Andrew, 1975– editor ofcompilation.    PS153.N5W486 2014    810.9’896073–dc23

2013033149

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Cover image: Volume 1: Lois Mailou Jones, Babelle, Paris 1937, oil on canvas, 21 3/4 × 18 1/2 inches. Courtsey of Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust, Gift from the Trust to Mint Museum of Art,Charlotte, North Carolina USA.Cover design by Richard Boxall Design Associates

Editorial Advisory Board

Daphne A. Brooks, Princeton UniversityJoanna Brooks, San Diego State UniversityMargo Natalie Crawford, Cornell UniversityMadhu Dubey, University of Illinois, ChicagoMichele Elam, Stanford UniversityPhilip Gould, Brown UniversityGeorge B. Hutchinson, Cornell UniversityMarlon B. Ross, University of VirginiaCherene M. Sherrard-Johnson, University of Wisconsin, MadisonJames Edward Smethurst, University of Massachusetts, AmherstWerner Sollors, Harvard UniversityJohn Stauffer, Harvard UniversityJeffrey Allen Tucker, University of RochesterIvy G. Wilson, Northwestern University

Preface

TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literatureis a comprehensive collection of poems, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, autobiographies, and essays authored by New World Africans and African Americans from the eighteenth century until the present. Published in two volumes, it is the first such anthology to be fundamentally conceived for both classroom and online education in the twenty-first century. Of equal importance, the anthology marks a special way of distinguishing the canon from the tradition of African American literature; a more diverse way of representing the lives and literatures of the African diaspora in the United States; and an advanced, if ironic, way of recognizing the ambivalent expressions of race not just in these first decades of the new millennium, but in generations long ago.

Admittedly, this two-volume anthology is presenting a canon. It argues that most of the texts of African American literature selected here have been – or should be – adopted, analyzed, written about, and taught within introductory and specialized courses. Yet this canon, like all useful canons, is provisional. It has incorporated the legendary authors who, after a period of obscurity, now deserve special recognition; and it has included the recent, emerging authors who have so upended traditional paradigms that they likewise warrant attention. Long-lasting literary anthologies earn the trust of teachers, students, and scholars by balancing the editorial projects of celebrating the best and welcoming the avant-garde of belles lettres. Aiming to join this hallowed group,TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literatureseeks to represent a canon that retains its scholarly and pedagogical worth over time, with each subsequent edition.

In subtle but significant ways, the arrangement of literary works in this anthology does differ from what one is likely to discover in fellow anthologies. Evident in the chronological table of contents, the publication dates of literary works – as opposed to the dates on which the authors were born – determine the sequence in which the authors are introduced. (In only a few cases where multiple works by a single author are included, the initial publication date of the first work determines their collective placement in the anthology.) The rationale for this arrangement is straightforward. A handful of authors may share the same decade of birth and belong to the same generation, for example, but these facts do not guarantee that their major writings and publications will cluster in the same moment of literary history. Only six months in1825separate the births of Harriet E. Wilson and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, but over three decades separate Wilson’s publication ofOur Nigin1859and Harper’sIola Leroyin1892. Periodizing literary works according to authorial birthdates also bodes poorly for those who had written multiple literary works across multiple historical periods. Although W.E.B. Du Bois had lived from1868to1963, he publishedAfrica in Battle against Colonialism, Racialism, Imperialismin1960, creating a potential discrepancy between the literary periodizations of his birthdate and one of the final works of his career. (The selection of Du Bois’s writings for this anthology does not face as extreme a scenario, but he is, in fact, the only author included in both volumes to mitigate the problem of periodization posed by literary longevity.)

The birthdate periodization of literature also threatens to mischaracterize authors who released their best literature not exactly when their generational contemporaries were most productive and publicized. This scenario bespeaks the legacy of Toni Morrison. Although her first three novels,The Bluest Eye(1970),Sula(1974), andSong of Solomon(1977), appeared in the second half of the Black Arts Movement of the1960s and1970s, she does not represent this movement as much as her1931birthdate would suggest. (By contrast, the other authors born in Morrison’s decade of birth, such as LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Kennedy, Larry Neal, and Sonia Sanchez, peaked in celebrity during this movement, with which they openly affiliated.) This anthology’s renewed focus on the actual historical sequence and patterns of African American literature helps to redress the commonplace inconsistencies of canonical periodization.

After extensive instructional, scholarly, commercial, and collaborative research, reliable metrics have been developed to ensure that the texts readers encounter in the following pages are those that either are actually being adopted in the classroom in great numbers or have come to embody legitimate reasons why they should be. Copyright expenses and restrictions and practical word count limits posed the greatest challenges to fulfilling this anthology’s mission of reprinting all the texts most ideal for teaching and learning. The data on course adoptions, commercial sales, scholarly citations, and historical acclaim (or lack thereof) helped to calibrate this anthology’s selection of African American literature. The result is a list of authors whose statures are in proper proportion to each other and whose lives and literatures remain especially meaningful today. Regularly monitoring and adjusting these data over time will help keep as negligible as possible the divide between how teachers and students are examining African American literature in the classroom and how experts are doing so in the scholarly field.

Even if this anthology succeeds in harmonizing scholarship and pedagogy, the gamut of specialties intrinsic to each mode of inquiry must be addressed. Scholars and teachers – and, by extension, students – are more specialized now than ever before. Specialties may include, first, a century or a movement in African American literature’s history, such as the “long” nineteenth or twentieth centuries, the New Negro Renaissance, modernism, postmodernism, or the contemporary period; second, a literary form or genre, as specific as poetry, drama, performance, or science fiction; and, third, a methodology such as diaspora, transnationalism, psychoanalysis, performance, print culture, or literary history. The stratification inherent to African American literary studies translates into the comparable stratifications of English and of African American/Africana curricula. The students who try to understand the diversity of courses emerging from these circumstances are also more predisposed than ever before to technologically advanced, multimedia, and online education.

The scholarly and pedagogic ecosystem of TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature has been carefully constructed and deeply integrated to meet the contemporary and evolving demands of educational specialization and technology. Along with the typical preface, volume introductions, period introductions, headnotes, textual annotations, glossary, and timeline, this anthology features after every author’s headnote a copious scholarly bibliography of articles, book chapters, books, and edited collections published recently (usually within the past two decades) and capturing the latest approaches to the author, the text, or the circumstances of literary production. This anthology features information pointing students and instructors to the website (www.wiley.com/go/jarrett). Maintained by Wiley Blackwell, the website will in turn refer to this anthology, yet it is also specially designed to enhance the experiences of readers with this anthology. In addition, it will provide new material such as syllabi, classroom discussion questions and paper topics, reorganizations of the table of contents, audio and video links, links to Wiley Blackwell’s own online library, and links to other relevant websites. The ecosystem includes the print and electronic versions of this anthology alongside Wiley Blackwell’s A Companion to African American Literature, a comprehensive overview of the scholarly field from the eighteenth century to thepresent. Comprising close to30article-length essays and embracing the full range of African American literature, the collection explores this literature’s forms, themes, genres, contexts, and major authors, while presenting the latest critical approaches. This ecosystem of scholarship and pedagogy are suited to take full advantage of the multiple ways in which African American literature is being consumed and circulated today.

Rare for a comprehensive anthology of African American literature, the structuraldivision ofTheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literatureinto two volumes advances the study of African American literature. (Previously, HowardUniversity Press publishedThe New Cavalcade: African American Writing from1760 to the Present, edited by Arthur P. Davis, J. Saunders Redding, and Joyce Ann Joyce, in two volumes in1991, but since then it has been out of print.) We are now in an age when introductory or survey courses on this literature, similar to those on broader American literature, are taught over multiple semesters, not just one. We are also inan age when specialized courses tend to revolve around historical periods far shorterthan the sestercentennial life of African American literature. The two-volume format of the print and electronic editions of this anthology ideally accounts for these changing circumstances.

Pedagogy and scholarship dictate today, just as they did during the academic maturation of American literature anthologies in the1970s and1980s, that a comprehensive anthology of African American literature must be portable enough to cater to the specialized needs of teachers and students who may wish to mix and match each volume within a course. The two-volume format also enhances this anthology’s self-sufficiency. Few, if any, competing anthologies reprint more long works than this one. Many of the selected works in Volume1alone – including those of John Marrant, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Harriet E. Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, Pauline E. Hopkins, Charles W. Chesnutt, W.E.B. Du Bois, and James Weldon Johnson – would have been excerpted for an anthology, but here they are reprinted in their entireties. Although facing at times exorbitant copyright expenses and gross restrictions, even Volume2exhibits a remarkable shareof fully reprinted long works, such as those by Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Amiri Baraka, AdrienneKennedy, August Wilson, and Rita Dove.

Logically and evenly split at the outset of the New Negro Renaissance, the two volumes of TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature mark an important step toward a refined organization of literary texts according to more appropriate periods of African American literary history, dividing them into seven sections that accurately depict intellectual, cultural, and political movements. Specifically, Volume 1 reprints African American literature from its beginnings to 1920; its three sections span the early national period, the antebellum and Civil War periods, and the New Negro period. Proceeding from 1920 to the present, Volume 2 includes four sections: the New Negro Renaissance; modernism and civil rights; nationalism and the Black Aesthetic; and the contemporary period. Showcasing the literature of 70 authors spread across both volumes, this may not be the largest anthology in terms of the number of pages. Nor may it be the most comprehensive in terms of the number of authors and texts. Nonetheless, it encourages sustained, close reading to take advantage of its inclusion of not only more reprints of entire long works but also longer selections of major works than any other anthology of its kind. At the same time, this anthology concedes – as all anthologies do – that as much as it can function on its own to anchor introductory or specialized courses to assigned readings in African American literature, it still can serve to complement an instructor’s independent adoption of separate books, whose large size, copyright costs, and page restrictions prohibit their inclusion in any anthology.

Concerned as it is with reprinting African American literature, this anthology of course affirms the political attitude of previous anthologies, even as it tries to pave a new road ahead. In recognizing African American literature as a crucial part of American literature, this anthology recalls the academic growth of early anthologies from, on the one hand, advocating for the inclusion of the “major writers of America” in English Department curricula toward, on the other, tailoring the canon to accommodate the historical and contemporary realities of “race,” among other categories of diversity. Over the years these comprehensive anthologies of American literature accumulated more and more African American writers who wrote literary texts that, with presumable racial authenticity, depict the underrepresented experiences of African Americans.

The 1990s marked a turning point. In this decade, a consensus of scholars and instructors argued rightly that this incremental accumulation of African American writers and experiences in the American canon practically did not – and theoretically could not – account for the centuries-long lives and literatures of New World Africans and African Americans. Comprehensive anthologies emerged to fill the void – both to declare a tradition of African American literature and, because they were indeed anthologies, to represent a canon of this literature at the same time.TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literaturelikewise asserts the centralityof race to the American canon; reaffirms the salience of New World African and African American experiences in United States (and world) literary history; and celebrates thecomprehensive array of literary examples attesting to these qualities.

Yet this anthology resists the particular conflation of “tradition-building” and “canon formation” found in fellow comprehensive anthologies of African American literature. This conflation anoints texts with canonical significance only insofar as they attest to the traditional heritage and genealogy of “blackness,” such as the spirituals, gospel, work songs, folklore, the blues, proverbs, sermons, prayers, orations, jazz, black urban vernacular, and rap lyrics that people of African descent created, circulated, and consumed. It goes without saying that all comprehensive anthologies of African American literature should refer to the cultural traditions of the black vernacular. This one does as well. One cannot fully comprehend the selected writings of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois without appreciating work songs and the spirituals; those of Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon, and Harriet Jacobs without proverbs, sermons, and prayers; those of Charles W. Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alice Walker without folklore; those of James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Sterling A. Brown, and Michael S. Harper without jazz and the blues; and those of Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Lucille Clifton, and Gloria Naylor without codes of black urban vernacular. In this anthology, more connections and overlaps of this sort are made across African American literary history.

The fact remains, however, that contemporary specialists have now begun on their own to compile and republish examples of the black vernacular, providing readers with a selection more copious, a background more thorough, than what is possible in even the most comprehensive anthologies of African American literature.1As these independent collections rightly continue to make the case that texts of black vernacular culture deserve more scholarly and classroom attention,TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literatureseeks to play a role more complementary than substitutive. Belletristic texts are selected here mainly for their pedagogic, scholarly, and intellectual value in literary studies, which, in countless cases, includes the black vernacular. But this approach is not preoccupied with justifying the canonical inclusion of any and all notable texts for the sake of reestablishing an authentic tradition of African American literature in the name of the black vernacular. African American literature is more complex and diverse than that. Indeed, the selected fiction and essays of Frank J. Webb, Jean Toomer, George S. Schuyler, Samuel Delany, Toni Morrison, and Charles S. Johnson unsettle traditional conceptions of race that presume the unvariegated quintessence of African American literature, experiences, communities, and politics.

TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literaturethus marks a new, long-awaited turn in the tone, structure, and purpose of canon formation. No longer must a comprehensive anthology sound an existential urgency to disprove condemnations of the tradition or canonicity of African American literature. No longer must it bear the burden of representing all versions of the written and spoken word communicated by “the race.” And no longer should it presume the hunger of contemporary readers for authentic racial self-reflection. Rather, this kind of anthology should delight in an ironic corpus of literature that, at one moment, asserts the shared diasporic experience and history of African Americans yet, at another, wonders whether this assertion rings hollow as often as it rings true. In the new millennium, the ambivalent life, literature, and literary historiography of race demand this canonical turn.

Notes

1Specialized books republishing examples of the black vernacular includeThe Anthology of Rap(Yale University Press,2010), edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew Du Bois;African American Folktales: Stories from BlackTraditions in the New World(Pantheon,1985), editedbyRoger D. Abrahams;Talkin’ to Myself: Blues Lyrics,1921–1942(Routledge,2005), edited by Michael Taft;The Oxford Book of Spirituals(Oxford University Press,2002), edited by Moses Hogan; andPreaching with Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons,1750 to the Present(W. W. Norton & Company,2010), edited by Martha Simmons and Frank A. Thomas.

Introduction

Volume 1 of TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature reprints African American literature from its beginnings in the middle of the eighteenth century, just before the Revolutionary War, to the early twentieth century, around the end of World War I. Featuring 22 different writers, the volume divides into three chronological sections – the early national period, the antebellum and Civil War periods, and the New Negro period – that best periodize the historical circumstances under which New World Africans and African Americans in the United States and across the world wrote creative or intellectual literature. The broad issues described in this volume include the crises of slavery and freedom in American society; the tension between individual rights and government; the subjugation of African Americans; and the intellectual, literary, and political strategies by which African Americans articulated these issues for various readers.

The first section of Volume 1, “The Literatures of Africa, Middle Passage, and Slavery,” reprints writings from Lucy Terry’s 1746 poem about an Indian attack in Massachusetts to David Walker’s 1829 polemic to his fellow African Americans. In this section, we realize the degree to which slavery drove the growth and prosperity of early America. Slaves were a crucial presence in the nation’s labor force and economic expansion. But little consensus existed over the fundamental issues of liberty and slavery, independence and rule, and the interpretation of republicanism and the individual liberties that it signified. The issues were contested along regional, class, and racial lines. By the dawn of the nineteenth century, the enslavement of peoples of African descent and the violent displacement of Native Americans had become constitutive practices in a country once divided over the republican ideas of Revolution. The early national literature published during this time reflected the contested nature of freedom and slavery at the heart of the country’s founding, and thus was preoccupied with defining the structural framework of republican citizenship and government. The historical circumstances and the prevailing literary interrogations of freedom and liberty, individual rights and central government helped lay the political foundations for New World African and early African American literatures.

The next section, “The Literatures of Slavery and Freedom,” features texts published from Omar ibn Said’s 1831 autobiographical story of being a slave in North Carolina to Harriet Jacobs’s 1861 episodic narrative about a “slave girl.” During these three decades, slavery grew so much that, by the Civil War’s outset, African Americans had become one of the largest enslaved populations in world history. The cotton industry relied on the subjugation and exploitation of enslaved African Americans. Southern politicians spearheaded legislation that increased the area in which slavery could exist in the country, even as the “peculiar institution” grew controversial in North America and declined in the rest of the Atlantic world. The paradoxical quality of the nation’s antebellum era lies in its creation of permanent liberal institutions – ranging from the public school to civil rights praxis – alongside the enduring contradictions of racial inequality, nativism, and sectionalism. The economic, political, and social circumstances under which slavery thrived shaped writers of the American Renaissance, who took stock of the changes in the young nation yet sought to construct a quintessentially American self independent of the British colonial past. For certain African American writers, however, slavery and freedom were not merely the literary tropes of sentimentalism that also attained commercial prominence. The realities of enslavement and racial subjugation informed their experiences of America and, in turn, instilled their desire to write autobiographical narratives and novels about slavery, for example, that challenge both southern slavery and its institutional perpetuation of white supremacist ideology.

The final section of Volume 1, “The Literatures of Reconstruction, Racial Uplift, and the New Negro,” covers writings beginning with Frank J. Webb’s two 1870New Era Gothic and love stories and ending with James Weldon Johnson’s 1912 anonymous novel purporting to be the autobiography of a “colored man” passing as white. The close of over two centuries of slavery on the North American continent and the ensuing emancipation of four million African Americans promised a radical rethinking of citizenship through Radical Reconstruction in the South. African American men held public office in the same states where they had previously been property. New representative governments, composed of freed people and their white allies, drafted state constitutions that created the first public education system in the South, abolished imprisonment for debt, and expanded suffrage to all men. Yet white resistance and violence countered the optimism of Reconstruction in the former Confederacy, and escalated sharply after federal troops withdrew from the South a little over a decade after the Civil War. The southern reinstatement of the laws disfranchising, segregating, and subjugating African Americans thereupon commenced. African Americans were committed to literary realism as they registered their sense of the racial violence, disfranchisement, and segregation that had spread in the aftermath of Reconstruction, as well as of an American literary culture that sought to restrict their images to derogatory stereotypes. By the arrival of World War I, debates raged among African American writers and intellectuals over the best means of racial uplift in light of these political and cultural conditions.

Every section of Volume 1 contains a pedagogical and scholarly apparatus. Each has an introduction with three main goals: to paint in broad strokes the social, cultural, intellectual, political, economic, and international circumstances of the United States at a particular moment in history; to outline briefly the relationship of these circumstances to the nature of American literature being written and published at that time; and, finally, to indicate the potential implications of these broader literary and historical forces on the formal and thematic principles of African American literature. Next, a biographical and critical headnote introduces each selected author, describing the full trajectory of the author’s thinking and writing to put the selected text in proper perspective. After the headnote is a bibliography that advises teachers and students on the most relevant journal articles, book chapters, books, and edited collections of scholarly essays they should consider for “further reading.” This scholarly bibliography has been honed down to recognize only scholarship published recently (such as within the past two decades) and specializing on the author or the selected text. The bibliography also almost always views as a complementary resource the recent essays published in Wiley Blackwell’s A Companion to African American Literature. Volume 1 is not the most comprehensive selection of African American literature published from the beginnings to 1920 – but it does not intend to be. Rather, the authors and texts, which, with few exceptions, are laid out in chronological order and selected with citation and commercial research in mind, together capture the complexity and range of African American literary history up to the modern era.

Principles of Selection and Editorial Procedures

The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literatureis carefully designed to incorporate as many reprints of entire works, and as many longer selections of major works, as possible. Between the genesis and publication of the anthology, multiple stages of peer-review assessed its mission, structure, contents, and viability. Professors at colleges and universities were consulted to comment on and help revise the anthology and its corresponding website, while the Editorial Advisory Board contributed deeper critical engagement with the anthology’s principles of selection. The outcome of this collaboration is an anthology that, despite the breadth and depth afforded by its two-volume format, focuses not on being the most comprehensive collection of African American literature in terms of the number of authors and texts. Rather, it concentrates on encouraging instructors to cultivate the sustained, close reading of any combination of the70authors, but with recognition that students, teachers, and scholars are now more specialized than ever before in analyzing movements, genres, or methodologies. The anthology can function alone in introductory or specialized courses, and it can complement an instructor’s independent adoption of separate books.

The principles of selection have sought to balance the availability of African American literature with its affordability. On the one hand, the anthology provides a representative yet diverse range of belletristic texts for literary study. The responses of external evaluators and of the Editorial Advisory Board, coupled with reliable metrics mined from extensive scholarly and commercial data, helped to refine the anthology’s table of contents. The texts readers encounter in the following pages thus are actually being adopted in the classroom in great numbers. New archival discoveries and the discernible cultural turn in higher education toward realizing the ambivalent life, literature, and literary historiography of race also necessitate this anthology’s implicit argument that certain other exemplary texts should likewise be adopted.

On the other hand, this anthology seeks to ensure that the purchase of one volume or both volumes of the anthology remains within the financial means of students. Editorial decisions to feature entire novels, plays, and collections of poems by individual authors inevitably faced the challenges of accounting for their large size in terms of word count; paying their copyright costs if in the private domain; and, in the latter case, accommodating copyright owners or their agents who understandably wish to winnow down the anthology’s selection so that it does not detract from the separate, independent sales of these entire texts. Even on a smaller textual scale, such as the short stories and individual poems of renowned authors, these structural limitations played a role in the editorial decision to include or exclude them. All comprehensive anthologies, past and present, have had to endure circumstances in which the pedagogic andintellectual arguments to include entire texts ran up against the practical and budgetary arguments to excerpt or exclude them. The current edition and format of TheWiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature represent the successful negotiation of these conditions. The comprehensive list of esteemed authors and texts is herein more available, affordable, and portable than ever before, for both classroom and online use.

Compiling and editing the selected literature followed a series of guidelines and procedures. The reprintings of primary texts largely hew to original editions. For the benefit of readers, the texts have been lightly edited to correct errors of spelling, punctuation, syntax, and capitalization born in the original editions. Where no semantic meaning is involved in the change, typographic elements have been made consistent across the volumes and arabic numbering has been used in preference to roman. Annotative footnotes (which are enumerated by the editor) occasionally include these corrections or translate incomprehensibly archaic language into contemporary form. More often, they define obscure words; explain complex or meaningful phrases; and trace the historical significance of individuals, groups, places, and events. When known, the year of first publication, which generally dictates the chronological order of the contents, follows each selection on the right-hand side, sometimes adjoined to the year of a subsequent, revised edition. If relevant, the year of composition is also provided on the left-hand side.

Acknowledgments

The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature was the most difficult editorial project I have ever taken up in my career. In the past I have compiled and reprinted the writings of canonical and obscure African American authors; edited and published the essays of contemporary scholars; and along the way dealt with the literary estates or agencies of authors whose works still exist in the private domain and require copyright permission for republication. Preparing this two-volume anthology demanded that I recall these experiences and endure them again. Doing so was equivalent to putting together multiple kinds of collections in one, and addressing a large group of collaborators and constituencies with varying interests and needs in this enterprise. Unenviable to some, this was no small task.

Yet multiple things helped bring everyone together, in the spirit of consensus and contribution. There was either a deep-seated admiration for the literatures of New World Africans and African Americans from centuries ago to the present; an ineluctable sense of belonging to, and support of, this historic community of writers; or an abiding commitment to examining and circulating this literary corpus on behalf of higher education both in the United States and around the world. Or, the sentiment included all the above. This shared focus inspired me as I tried to shepherd this project from inception to conclusion, as did the opportunity to work closely with great literary artists and critics, academic instructors, scholars, editors, and students.

Located in both England and the United States, an outstanding group of editors and staff at Wiley Blackwell advocated for this enormous and complex book, and I wish to thank them here. Emma Bennett, Executive Editor/Publisher of Literature, was receptive to my idea, first proposed in 2009, of a new comprehensive anthology of African American literature released in multivolume format. She was patient and considerate as we hammered out contractual details about the parameters and resources of the project. Our regular conversations since then were crucial to the anthology’s current shape and focus. Ben Thatcher, Project Editor, skillfully managed the project’s unwieldy materials. With an eye always to buoying my soul, he eloquently negotiated with copyright holders and literary estates and agencies so that I did not have to enter the fray. Deirdre Ilkson, Senior Development Editor, and Bridget Jennings, Senior Editorial Assistant, helped to usher the project to completion, especially in the final stages. Possessing a keen eye, Giles Flitney patiently copy-edited these very long volumes, and worked with me to resolve issues both big and small. Finally, Felicity Marsh managed the project with a steady hand that kept me at ease at all times.

My literary agent, Wendy Strothman, of the Strothman Agency, LLC, meticulously worked on my behalf during the very important and time-consuming negotiation with Wiley Blackwell over the contractual details of the project.

The anthology would not be where or what it is today without the members of the Editorial Advisory Board. They generously gave their time and insight, their advice and encouragement, cooperating with me and the countless staff, either at the publisher or at my home institution, Boston University, working on my behalf. By name I thank them again here, even though they are already spotlighted on another page in the front matter: Daphne A. Brooks, Joanna Brooks, Margo Natalie Crawford, Madhu Dubey, Michele Elam, Philip Gould, George B. Hutchinson, Marlon B. Ross, Cherene M. Sherrard-Johnson, James Edward Smethurst, Werner Sollors, John Stauffer, Jeffrey Allen Tucker, and Ivy G. Wilson. Over the course of preparing this anthology I also consulted several other professors, most notably, Brent Hayes Edwards, Harryette Mullen, Lawrence P. Jackson, William Maxwell and Margaret B. Wilkerson.

The essays in Wiley Blackwell’sA Companion to African American Literature (2010) figure prominently in the scholarly rationale or apparatus for the anthology. I thank their authors here (some also appearing above): Vincent Carretta, James Sidbury, Frances Smith Foster, Kim D. Green, Michael J. Drexler, Ed White, Joanna Brooks, Tyler Mabry, Philip Gould, Maurice S. Lee, Robert S. Levine, Ivy G. Wilson, Marlon B. Ross, Andreá N. Williams, Shirley Moody-Turner, Michelle Ann Stephens, Cherene M. Sherrard-Johnson, Mark Christian Thompson, Michelle Yvonne Gordon, Keith D. Leonard, James Edward Smethurst, Glenda Carpio, Madhu Dubey, Robin V. Smiles, Jeffrey Allen Tucker, Theresa Delgadillo, Guy Mark Foster, and Arlene R. Keizer. Finally, the many professors and instructors who responded to questionnaires and solicitations about the anthology were invaluable.

Completing this project would have been impossible without my former and current research assistants at Boston University. John Barnard diligently worked on the project at a very early organizational stage. Kerri Greenidge possesses exhaustive knowledge of African American cultural, political, and intellectual history, and her tireless application of this knowledge to the project was a godsend. Iain Bernhoft demonstrated remarkable acumen, discipline, and leadership as he handled the anthology’s literary and scholarly materials and served as interlocutor between me and Wiley Blackwell. Joyce Kim generously and energetically came onto the project very late in the process to help rescue the preparation of key parts of the anthology. Anne Austin, as Department Administrator, helped to keep me organized and attentive asI necessarily attended to my other duties as Professor and Chair of the Department ofEnglish. And I thank my colleagues and administrators at Boston University for their longstanding support.

This anthology builds on the previous accomplishments of teachers, writers, scholars, and anthologists of African American literature. I express gratitude to the selected writers and their literary estates and agencies willing to work with us to include their writings. I also extend thanks to the editors of fellow anthologies who provided advice as I consulted them on the viability of this project: Henry Louis Gates, Jr, William L. Andrews, Robert S. Levine, Ivy Schweitzer, and Richard Yarborough.

My longtime wife and best friend, Renée, has long believed in me; she was the first to support this project; and she encouraged me as I tried to finish it. I thank her; our lovely children, Nyla, Noah, and Nadia; and the rest of our family who supported me all the while, from beginning to end.

A book of this complexity and magnitude will inevitably have factual and conceptual errors. Even though everyone above contributed to this anthology in some way, I accept ultimate responsibility and apologize for any such errors that happen to wind their way into print.

Table of Contents (by Genre)

Poetry

Lucy Terry, Bars Fight (1746)

Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects (1773)

Jupiter Hammon, An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly (1778)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Sketches of Southern Life (1891)

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)

Autobiography

Briton Hammon,The Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man (1760)

John Marrant, A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black (1785)

Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself (1789, 1791)

Omar ibn Said,Autobiography of Omar ibn Said, Slave in North Carolina(1831)

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself. (1845)

William Wells Brown, Narrative of William Wells Brown, an American Slave. Written by Himself. (1847, 1850)

Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself. (1861)

Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (1901)

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

Essay

David Walker, Appeal in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America (1829)

Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852)

Martin Robison Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852)

Charles Waddell Chesnutt, What Is a White Man? (1889)

Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (1892)

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

Drama

William Wells Brown, The Escape; or, a Leap for Freedom: A Drama in Five Acts (1858)

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Peculiar Sam, or the Underground Railroad: A Musical Drama in Four Acts (1879)

Fiction

Harriet E. Adams Wilson, Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859)

Frank J. Webb, Two Wolves and a Lamb (1870) and Marvin Hayle (1870)

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Heart of Happy Hollow (1904)

James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912, 1927)

Novel or Novella

Harriet E. Adams Wilson, Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859)

Frank J. Webb, Two Wolves and a Lamb (1870) and Marvin Hayle (1870)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1892)

Charles Waddell Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition (1901)

James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912, 1927)

Part One

The Literatures of Africa, Middle Passage, and Slavery

c.1746–1830

Introduction

When the French and Indian War ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Great Britain gained control over eastern North America from Nova Scotia to Georgia. In these colonies over 1.5 million people resided, a diverse mixture of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans. By 1830, early America, now spreading westward across the Allegheny Mountains from the 13 original colonies on the Atlantic coast, contained 12 million inhabitants.

Early America’s growth and prosperity were inextricable from slavery. Since the first British colonists arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, colonial America evolved from what one historian has called a “society with slaves” – one in which slaves were one form of labor among many, and slavery was not confined to people of African descent – into a prosperous slave society that produced £2.8 million per annum for the British crown on the eve of the American Revolution. Slavery permeated all aspects of colonial America, from Puritan Massachusetts, where slavery was first legalized in 1641, to New York City, home to the largest enslaved population outside of the South. A little over a century later, in 1750, 20% of those living in the North American colonies were enslaved, the majority of them (61%) living in Virginia and Maryland, where their muscle provided the hard labor in the Chesapeake’s rapidly expanding tobacco economy.

In eighteenth-century America, little consensus existed over fundamental issues of liberty and slavery, independence and rule. Only seven of the on the premise of “provid[ing] for the common defense, promot[ing] the general welfare, and secur[ing] the blessings of liberty” – provided for three-fifths of all slaves to be counted in each state’s Congressional representation, extended the slave trade for years, and allowed the federal government to aid in the recapture of fugitives slaves, all without mentioning the word “slavery.” By the time America emerged from the War of and entered a market revolution fueled by southern plantations, northern manufacturing, and westward expansion, the enslavement of peoples of African descent and the violent removal of Native Americans had become constitutive practices in a country once divided over the ideas of republican Revolution.

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