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Chapter 2 - Daniel Coker, David Walker, and the Politics of Dialogue with Whites in Early Nineteenth-Century African American Literature

from Part I - Black Organizational Life before 1830

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2021

Jasmine Nichole Cobb
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

Antislavery writers experimented with the idea that slaves and masters might address each other through direct and formalized literary dialogues. To do so, these activists used pamphlets, a genre that had already enabled differing religious, political, and intellectual points of view to engage each other in eighteenth-century North America. In the deliberately double meaning of “salvation,” both political and religious, for both this world and the next, David Walker’s Appeal brings to bold fruition an idea only incipient in the dialogic experiments of Benjamin Banneker and Daniel Coker, that recognizing and following Black, not white, moral and spiritual leadership was the only hope for a slavery-corrupted America.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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