Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 May 2021
Chapters in this part explore the local events and institutions that shaped and were shaped by African American literature. In these four chapters, the local operates at the level of the city and the region. Carla L. Peterson looks closely at how literary societies in New York and Philadelphia served as engines of the creation of a particular kind of Black modernity, as expressed in the speeches, essays, and poetry of the members of such societies. Jasmine Nichole Cobb remains in Philadelphia, with a particular focus on a community of Black women writers who contributed essays and poetry to the Liberator newspaper. The Liberator provided a venue for such writings, but Philadelphia’s free Black women also decisively shaped the tone and politics of the nation’s leading abolitionist newspaper.