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As the story of the United States was recorded in pages written by white historians, early-nineteenth-century African American writers faced the task of piecing together a counterhistory: an approach to history that would present both the necessity of and the means for the liberation of the oppressed. In "Liberation Historiography," John Ernest demonstrates that African Americans created a body of writing in which the spiritual, the historical, and the political are inextricably connected. Their literature serves not only as historical recovery but also as historical intervention.
Ernest studies various cultural forms including orations, books, pamphlets, autobiographical narratives, and black press articles. He shows how writers such as Martin R. Delany, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Harriet Jacobs crafted their texts in order to resituate their readers in a newly envisioned community of faith and moral duty. Antebellum African American historical representation, Ernest concludes, was both a reading of source material on black lives and an unreading of white nationalist history through an act of moral imagination.
With its subtle, well-grounded contextual readings of a number of lesser-known historical texts, Ernest's work will serve as a valuable starting point for scholars and students conducting research in nineteenth-century African American culture.
|The theater of history||p. 39|
|Scattered lives, scattered documents : writing liberation history||p. 95|
|Multiple lives and lost narratives : (auto)biography as history||p. 155|
|The assembly of history : orations and conventions||p. 219|
|Our warfare lies in the field of thought : the African American press and the work of history||p. 277|
|Epilogue : William Wells Brown and the performance of history||p. 331|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Published: 26th April 2004
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.68