Originally published in 1868--when it was attacked as an "indecent book" authored by a "traitorous eavesdropper"--Behind the Scenes is the story of Elizabeth Keckley, who began her life as a slave and became a privileged witness to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Keckley bought her freedom at the age of thirty-seven and set up a successful dressmaking business in Washington, D.C. She became modiste to Mary Todd Lincoln and in time her friend and confidante, a relationship that continued after Lincoln's assassination. In documenting that friendship--often using the First Lady's own letters--Behind the Scenes fuses the slave narrative with the political memoir. It remains extraordinary for its poignancy, candor, and historical perspective. First time in Penguin Classics
Portions of the autobiographes of Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglas, and Zitkala-Sa.
The true diversity of the American experience comes to life in this superlative collection. A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682), perhaps the first American bestseller, recounts this thirty-nine-year-old woman's harrowing months as the captive of Narragansett Indians.The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1771-1789), the most famous of all American autobiographies, gives a lively portrait of a chandler's son who became a scientist, inventor, educator, diplomat, humorist--and a Founding Father of this land.Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), the gripping slave narrative that helped change the course of American history, reveals the true nature of the black experience in slavery.Old Times on the Mississippi (1875), Mark Twain's unforgettable account of a riverboat pilot's life, established his signature style and shows us the metamorphosis of a man into a writer.Four Autobiographical Narratives (1900-1902), published in the Atlantic Monthly by Zitkala-Sa (Red Bird), also known as Gertrude Bonnin, provide us with a voice too seldom heard: a Native American woman fighting for her culture in the white man's world.Edited and with an Introduction by William L. Andrews and a New Afterword
In addition to its far-reaching impact on the antislavery movement in the United States and abroad, Douglass's fugitive slave narrative won recognition for its literary excellence, which has since earned it a place among the classics of nineteenth-century American autobiography. This Norton Critical Edition reprints the 1845 first edition of Douglass's compelling work. Explanatory annotations accompany the text. A rich selection of "Contexts" provides the reader with contemporary perspectives. Included are the little-known preface that Douglass wrote in 1846 for the second Irish edition; a public exchange of letters between A. C. C. Thompson, a former slaveholder, and Douglass; three autobiographical portraits of Douglass's parents; Douglass's account of his escape from slavery, which he chose not to include in the 1845 Narrative; samples of Douglass's use of his slave experience in two of his most influential antislavery speeches; and reminiscences by James Monroe Gregory and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Douglass as both orator and friend. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
The first African American to publish a book in the South, the author of the first female slave narrative in the United States, the father of black nationalism in America--these and other founders of African American literature have a surprising connection to one another: they all hailed from the state of North Carolina.This collection of poetry, fiction, autobiography, and essays showcases some of the best work of eight influential African American writers from North Carolina during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In his introduction, William L. Andrews explores the reasons why black North Carolinians made such a disproportionate contribution (in quantity and lasting quality) to African American literature as compared to that of other southern states with larger African American populations. The authors in this anthology parlayed both the advantages and disadvantages of their North Carolina beginnings into sophisticated perspectives on the best and the worst of which humanity, in both the South and the North, was capable. They created an African American literary tradition unrivaled by that of any other state in the South. Writers included here are Charles W. Chesnutt, Anna Julia Cooper, David Bryant Fulton, George Moses Horton, Harriet Jacobs, Lunsford Lane, Moses Roper, and David Walker.
The autobiographies of former slaves contributed powerfully to the abolitionist movement in the United States, fanning national--even international--indignation against the evils of slavery. The four texts gathered here are all from North Carolina slaves and are among the most memorable and influential slave narratives published in the nineteenth century. The writings of Moses Roper (1838), Lunsford Lane (1842), Moses Grandy (1843), and the Reverend Thomas H. Jones (1854) provide a moving testament to the struggles of enslaved people to affirm their human dignity and ultimately seize their liberty.Introductions to each narrative provide biographical and historical information as well as explanatory notes. Andrews's general introduction to the collection reveals that these narratives not only helped energize the abolitionist movement but also laid the groundwork for an African American literary tradition that inspired such novelists as Toni Morrison and Charles Johnson.The autobiographies of former slaves contributed powerfully to the abolitionist movement in the United States, fanning national--and international--indignation against the evils of slavery. The four texts gathered here are all from North Carolina slaves and are among the most memorable and influential slave narratives published in the nineteenth century. The writings of Moses Roper (1838), Lunsford Lane (1842), Moses Grandy (1843), and the Reverend Thomas H. Jones (1854) provide a moving testament to the struggles of enslaved people to affirm their human dignity and ultimately seize their liberty. Introductions to each narrative provide biographical and historical information as well as explanatory notes.-->
This anthology presents selections from African American literature beginning with the spirituals and folktales of the oral tradition and continuing through the writings of contemporary authors such as Jamaica Kincaid and Colson Whitehead. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The much-anticipated Third Edition brings together the work of 140 writers from 1746 to the present writing in all genres, as well as performers of vernacular forms--from spirituals and sermons to jazz and hip hop. Fresh scholarship, new visuals and media, and new selections--with an emphasis on contemporary writers--combine to make The Norton Anthology of African American Literature an even better teaching tool for instructors and an unmatched value for students.
Collections from two of our most influential African American writers?under the general editorship of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. An icon of nineteenth-century American fiction, Charles W. Chesnutt?an incisive storyteller of the aftermath of slavery in the South?is widely credited with almost single-handedly inaugurating the African American short story tradition and was the first African American novelist to achieve national critical acclaim. This major addition to Penguin Classics features an ideal sampling of his work: twelve short stories (including conjure tales and protest fiction), three essays, and the novel The Marrow of Tradition. Published here for the 150th anniversary of Chesnutt?s birth, The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt will bring to a new audience the genius of a man whose legacy underlies key trends in modern black fiction.
The ten works collected in this volume demonstrate how a diverse group of writers challenged the conscience of a nation and laid the foundations of the African American literary tradition by expressing their in anger, pain, sorrow, and courage.Included in the volume: Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw; Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; The Confessions of Nat Turner; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Narrative of William W. Brown; Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb; Narrative of Sojouner Truth; Ellen and William Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of J. D.Green.