To Live an Antislavery Life Personal Politics and the Antebellum Black Middle Class

ISBN-10: 0820343501
ISBN-13: 9780820343501
Edition: 2012
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $15.83
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Description: In this study of antebellum African American print culture in transnational perspective, Erica L. Ball explores the relationship between antislavery discourse and the emergence of the northern black middle class.Through innovative readings of slave  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 11/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

In this study of antebellum African American print culture in transnational perspective, Erica L. Ball explores the relationship between antislavery discourse and the emergence of the northern black middle class.Through innovative readings of slave narratives, sermons, fiction, convention proceedings, and the advice literature printed in forums like Freedom’s Journal, the North Star, and the Anglo-African Magazine, Ball demonstrates that black figures such as Susan Paul, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Delany consistently urged readers to internalize their political principles and to interpret all their personal ambitions, private familial roles, and domestic responsibilities in light of the freedom struggle. Ultimately, they were admonished to embody the abolitionist agenda by living what the fugitive Samuel Ringgold Ward called an “antislavery life.”Far more than calls for northern free blacks to engage in what scholars call “the politics of respectability,” African American writers characterized true antislavery living as an oppositional stance rife with radical possibilities, a deeply personal politics that required free blacks to transform themselves into model husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, self-made men, and transnational freedom fighters in the mold of revolutionary figures from Haiti to Hungary. In the process, Ball argues, antebellum black writers crafted a set of ideals—simultaneously respectable and subversive—for their elite and aspiring African American readers to embrace in the decades before the Civil War.Published in association with the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Program in African American History. A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication.

Richard Newman is the author of over 200 books, articles, and reviews in African-American studies. He is currently research officer at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University. Prior to this, he was managing editor of the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Mr. Newman resides in Massachusetts.

Patrick Rael is associate professor of history at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
African American Advice Literature and Black Middle-Class Self-Fashioning
Slave Narratives and the Black Self-Made Man
Antislavery Discourse and the African American Family
Domestic Literature and the Antislavery Household
Transnationalism, Revolution, and the Anglo-African Magazine on the Eve of the Civil War
Epilogue
Notes
Index

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