Five Black Lives The Autobiographies of Venture Smith, James Mars, William Grimes, the Rev. G. W. Offley, and James L. Smith

ISBN-10: 0819561908
ISBN-13: 9780819561909
Edition: N/A
Authors: Arna Bontemps
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: "Five Black Lives is a collection of ex-slave narratives which spans 150 years in time, from 1729 to 1870, and some thousands of miles in geographical area from Africa to Connecticut. The autobiographies include the lives of Venture Smith, a native  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 6/1/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

"Five Black Lives is a collection of ex-slave narratives which spans 150 years in time, from 1729 to 1870, and some thousands of miles in geographical area from Africa to Connecticut. The autobiographies include the lives of Venture Smith, a native of Africa who ended his days as a resident of East Haddam, Connecticut; James Mars, born a slave near Norfolk, Connecticut in 1790, and freed at twenty-five by state law; William Grimes, a native of Virginia, who became Connecticut's first known runway when he arrived in New Haven about 1808; G.W. Offley, from Maryland, who was bought free by his father and later settled in Hartford; and James L. Smith, of Virginia birth, who escaped from slavery and settled in Norwich, Connecticut."--Victor B. Howard, The New England Quarterly

Arna Bontemps was one of many African American writers associated with Fisk University, where he taught for 20 years. He became a visiting professorship at Yale University and returned to Fisk to spend the last years of his life there. Bontemps grew up in the South and wrote of the condition and spirit of the southern black in memoirs and in fiction. His historical and topical novel Black Thunder (1936) is perhaps his best known, along with Drums at Dusk (1935). As an active leader in the Harlem Renaissance, however, Bontemps wrote prolifically in all genres and for children as well as adults. He produced several important collections of narratives about enslaved people and African American folk tales. Bontemps was a major anthologizer of Harlem Renaissance work and helped shape the new black writing as theoretician and critic. Bontemps died in 1973.

Introduction
A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture . . . Related by Himself
Preface
Containing an Account of his Life, from his Birth to the Time of his Leaving his Native Country
Containing an Account of his Life from the Time of his Leaving Africa to That of his Becoming Free
Containing an Account of his Life from the Time of Purchasing his Freedom to the Present Day
Traditions of Venture!
Life of James Mars . . . Written by Himself
Introduction
A Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut
Appendix
Life of William Grimes . . . Written by Himself
To the Public
Life of William Grimes
Conclusion
A Narrative of the Life and Labors of the Rev. G. W. Offley
Autobiography of James L. Smith
Preface
Birth and Childhood
Youth and Early Manhood
Life in Heathsville
Escape from Slavery
Life in Freedom
Life in Norwich, Conn.
The War of the Rebellion
After the War
Conclusion
Colored Men During the War
Recollections of the War
The Exodus

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