Friday, September 24, 2010

Frances E. W. Harper's "Undisputed Dignity"

This week, we will be looking at Frances E.W. Harper (1825-1911), another great American from the 19th century. Please read the pieces and be ready to comment on a section that you find of particular significance--pay attention to diction, language, tone, and theme. What is significant about each piece? What do you notice about the rhetorical style?


"The Slave Mother"

"Bury Me in a Free Land"

"The Slave Auction"

Short Story:

"The Two Offers" (1859)

"We Are All Bound Up Together" (1866)

"The Great Problem to be Solved" (1875)

In addition, take a look at Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech (which I emailed to the class).

Ancillary reading:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frederick Douglass: Man of the 19th Century

Hi, class,

Earliest known image of Douglass, ca. 1940
As promised, below are some additional images of Frederick Douglass--remember, he was in his late 20s when he published his famous narrative, and in his 30s when he wrote "The Heroic Slave."

Here are the links to the other Douglass pieces--they come from Major Speeches on The Black Past website (at left), but it's just as easy for me to post them here. 

Take a look at "Men of Color, To Arms!"--written at the height of the Civil War--those of you who have seen the film Glory will probably find Douglass's article evocative. "The Composite Nation" iterates Douglass's commitment to all immigrant groups becoming part of the American fabric--here, he focuses on Chinese immigration. We will take a look at "On Woman Suffrage" as we begin to examine (through the writings of Frances E.W. Harper and other women) how black women articulated their place within the 19th century women's movement. I will email/post the Harper readings and the Sojourner Truth piece later.

All best,

Prof. Williams

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome, English 238/001 Students!

Isaac and Rosa, Emancipated Slave Children, From the Free Schools of Louisiana, December, 1863. Photo by Kimball.

Good afternoon, students and welcome to our class blog! I will post links, handouts, video clips, and readings here. You, in turn, will respond in the "Comments" section. I look forward to an engaging semester with you as we consider the wide range of African American aesthetic responses to life in the United States.  
All best,

Prof. Williams