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Slave Narratives

Brief synopsis of slave narratives and the lives of Equiano and Douglass
by

Hillary Ransom

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of Slave Narratives

Most studies of black American
culture have concentrated on its
oral aspects, folk tale, music and religion.
In addition, the slave narrative combines
all of these elements to reflect what their
culture values. The slave narrative allowed for slaves to keep a first-hand account of the hardships they endured. Slave Narratives This form of writing is told in 1st person Slave writers focus their writing on
attempting to understand WHY they were victimized. Slave narratives can be categorized
into 3 distinct forms:
tales of religious redemption
tales to inspire the abolitionist struggle
tales of progress
The tales to inspire the abolitionist struggle
are the most famous because they tend to
have a strong autobiographical motif. Most of the documentation of slave narratives
occurred before the Civil war however, slaves continued
to tell their story after the war to ensure that the newly-
united nation did not forget what had threatened its
existence. In the late 18th and early 19th century,
slave narratives were an important
means of opening dialogue between
blacks and whites about slavery and freedom, Slave narratives are important
not only for what they tell us about
African American history and literature,
but also because they reveal to us the
complexities of the dialogue between whites
and blacks in this country. Modern day black autobiographies
testify to the influence of the slave
narrative. The slave narrative
provided a venue for many current
black writers to have a voice. Olaudah Equiano Equiano's reading audience was mostly composed of American and European abolitionists. His immediate purpose was to influence the British political leaders who were debating the slave trade issue in Parliament in the late 1780s. However, Equiano's work was read and discussed by numerous religious and humanitarian readers on both sides of the Atlantic. His work went through nineteen editions and was translated into several languages. It appeared in print well into the middle of the nineteenth century, and its influence on the whole range of slave narrative literature was strong. 1745-1797 born in what is now known as Nigeria became an a strong activist against
the instituition of slavery
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