By Nava Atlas | On | Comments (4)
Given the circumstances of the 19th century, both before and after emancipation, African-American women writers who took up the pen to write full books or other substantial bodies of work were rare indeed.
It’s worth noting that before the Civil War, it was illegal to teach African-Americans to read in many states, not just in the South. So to write a novel or autobiography was a radical act for a Black woman of that era, whether she had been enslaved or free born.
Not surprisingly, many of the books, essays, and poetry produced by African-American women writers dealt with slavery. Most of the autobiographies and thinly veiled novels discussed here were in the genre of slave narrative. Read More→