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Chapter 6 - African American Life Writing, 1865–1900

from Part I - Origins and Histories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 September 2021

Joycelyn Moody
Affiliation:
University of Texas, San Antonio
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Summary

Williams’s chapter argues that there is more to learn about the compositional process for late nineteenth-century black autobiographies. Williams asks, how, where, and under what terms did African American autobiographers — most of whom did not consider themselves professional writers — draft, arrange, and revise their texts? She turns to periodicals, which played an important role in the market for producing autobiographical texts, and locates the Indianapolis Freeman as one paper that exemplifies the three functions of publishing, marketing, and evaluating African American life writing. For nearly a year in 1894 and 1895, Freeman owner George Knox serially published his autobiography “My Life as I Remember It — As a Slave and Freeman” in the newspaper’s pages.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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