2/21 — African American Reactions (2)

  • Wilson's Our Nig
        In 1983 Henry Louis Gates, Jr., identified the author of this 1859 novel as a black woman, making it the first African American novel ever written (Douglass' "Heroic Slave" is the earliest African American fiction). As Gates says, Our Nig can be read as a "complex response to Uncle Tom's Cabin. It's the only text you have to read for today's class.

  • OPTIONAL: The archive doesn't contain William Wells Brown's African American novel, Clotel, or The President's Daughter, originally written and published in England (1853). I've never been convinced it has more than a very oblique relationship to Uncle Tom's Cabin. Wells himself, however, was an American, and others have included it in the category of "African American responses to Stowe." The archive does contain the first half of Martin Delany's Blake, or the Huts of America. Delany wrote the three letters to Frederick Douglass' Papers we read for Monday, and his novel (published serially in 1859 - 1862) certainly is in dialogue with Stowe's. If you want to look at it, you can access Part One of Blake, by clicking HERE.