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Slavery, Race, & The Making of American Literature

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Tristin Brown

on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of Slavery, Race, & The Making of American Literature

Virginian who drafted Declaration of Independence in 1776.
At times, he wrote about slavery as an evil.
However, he was a slaveowner who had at least one child with his slave Sally Hemings; only freed slaves in the Hemings family.
When he wrote
Notes on the State of Virginia,
he didnt't approve of slavery.
But, when he became dependent on his slaves financially, he became a bigger advocate of the South's rights to own slaves
.
Notes on the State of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson
William Lloyd Garrison
White abolitionist.
Established his own antislavery newspaper, the Liberator, which became the most influential antislavery newspaper of the time.
Called for the immediate emancipation of
slaves.
Published Frederick Douglass' Narrative in 1845.
Organized the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833; one of the most effective antislavery organizations during that time.
Angelina E. Grimke
Raised in a slaveholding family in Charleston, SC.
Big supporter of Garrisonian abolitionism.
Seen as a shocking cultural figure for her bold abolitionist lectures in front of mixed audiences.
Work in antislavery eventually led her to advocate for women's rights.
David Walker
Was a free Black in Boston.
He maintained that America failed to live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence because the author was racist.
In Walker's Appeals in Four Articles, he challenged Jefferson's assumptions of black inferiority.
His Appeals was one of the most provocative pieces in his era.
Encourages Blacks to refute Jefferson's claims themselves.
"For let no one of us suppose that the refutations which have been written by our white friends are enough--they are whites-- we are blacks."
By: Tristin Brown
Slavery, Race, & The Making of American Literature
was written as a response to a questionnaire sent to him by Francois Marbois, the secretary of the French Legation in the US, who was cultural and historical info about their states.
Jefferson dismisses the ability of blacks to reason, imagine, or even produce extraordinary literature.
He blames 'black inferiority' on nature rather than condition.
Degraded blacks below both whites and Native Americans.
"astonish you with strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove their reason & sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and elevated.
To The Public
published in the inaugural issue of The Liberator.
urges Jefferson's Declaration of Independence to argue for the need to fulfill the requirement of the American Revolution by bringing equality to all.
"I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice."
Garrison uses this issue of his newspaper to set the tone of his views. He was very bold with his statements, with the words that he chose to use and even the visual appearance of those words.
" I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population." Not only did Garrison intend to have slaves emancipated, he would also work vehemently to get their right to vote granted,
Appeal to the Christian Women of the South


implores Southern women to use their influence to help bring slavery to an end.
presents appeal in a way that would make women feel that they are able to exert power; "You are the wives and mothers, the sisters and daughters of those who do; and if you really suppose you can do nothing to overthrow slaver, you are greatly mistaken."
Urges this particular audience to exert their power in four ways: read on the subject of slavery, pray over this subject, speak on this subject, and act on this subject.
Cleverly targets the group of women who are both Southern and Christian with the hopes of infiltrating her ideology to their male family members.
Also uses biblical references to counter the ideals of slavery that many slave owners upheld.
Sojourner Truth
Born a slave in Ulster County (Upstate NY)
Known as one of the most bold advocates of the rights of African Americans and women.
Was successful in suing for the return of one of her sons in 1829, two years after slavery was abolished in New York State.
Never learned to read or write.
Gained greater esteem after the publication of of Narrative of Sojourner Truth in 1850.
Speech to the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, 1851
also known as "Ain't I A Woman.
has two different versions.
illustrates her passion for women's rights.
uses biblical references to make comparisons (Adam & Eve, Mary & Lazarus)
Martin R. Delany
black Pittsburgh leader.
co-edited the antislavery newspaper, The North Star, with friend Fredrick Douglass.
convened a National Emigration Convention of Colored Men in Cleveland in 1854.
became the first black major in the Union army.
In Political Destiny of the Colored Race on the American Continent, he encourages African Americans to emigrate to Haiti.
Reasons that since Blacks have no right to suffrage their existence in America is pointless because they will never be free in that manner.
Questions
1. What medium did Garrison use to express his ideals, and what was the name of it?
2. What were the four things Grimke proposed women do to help overthrow slavery?
3. Who was David Walker responding to in his Appeal in Four Articles?
Annotated Bibliography
Full transcript