This is the first anthology to bring together the writings of the earliest black women writers in the East and West Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, the US and England. The selections span the American Revolution to the decade following the Civil War.
The nine writers included, both slave and free, represent a variety of genres, regions, professions, and political perspectives. Their words suggest the rich cultural history embedded in the writings, and provide a glimpse into the lives of women coping with extreme racism and sexism. As black women, survival guides the construction of their texts and their public images. Each employs diverse strategies of resistance, evasion, displacement, omission and accommodation.
With an introduction that contains copious biographical details about each writer and a brief chronology preceding each text, "Nine Black Women" is a unique collection of original works.
""Nine Black Women, Moira Ferguson's fascinating and informative documentation of the literary and political activities of nineteenth-century African American, Canadian, Bermudian, and Caribbean women, is a splendid addition to the library of works now recognizing the lives and voices of women of the African diaspora. A combination of biography, personal testimony, and social history, the breadth of this study opens up new perspectives on how we understand that whether they knew, or knew of each other or not, earlier black women have always engaged each other in powerful dialogue across time and space. "Nine Black Women will find great significance and usefulness in a wide array of classrooms as well as in continuing efforts to excavate a complex past that rejects our marginalization and forgetfulness."
-Nellie Y. McKay, University of Wisconsin-Madison
""Nine Black Women is an important anthology that will greatly facilitate our study and teaching of nineteenth-century black women's writing. The selections offer us intimate--and at times poignant--glimpses into the personal lives of nine black women; but they also invite us to examine the political dimensions of the women's more public cultural, religious, and social experiences. Finally, in bringing together texts by black women from different regions in the Americas, the volume gives us a significantly new gendered account of the making of the black Atlantic."
-Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland, College Park