This volume provides an illuminating exploration of the development of early African American literature from an African diasporic perspective—in Africa, England, and the Americas. It juxtaposes analyses of writings by familiar authors like Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano with those of lesser known or examined works by writers such as David Margrett and Isabel de Olvera to explore how issues including forced migration, enslavement, authorship, and racial identity influenced early Black literary production and how theoretical frameworks like Afrofuturism and intersectionality can enrich our understanding of texts produced in this period. Chapters grouped in four sections – Limits and Liberties of Early Black Print Culture, Black Writing and Revolution, Early African American Life in Literature, and Evolutions of Early Black Literature – examine how transitions coupled with conceptions of race, the impacts of revolution, and the effects of religion shaped the trajectory of authors' lives and the production of their literature.
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