Prophets of Protest
Reconsidering the History of American AbolitionismBook - 2006
A collection of original contributions on American abolitionism by African Americans, women, and other less-represented groups draws on a new body of research in black studies, literature, law, and other disciplines; sharing perspectives on such familiar figures as Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, and Frederick Douglass. Simultaneous.
The campaign to abolish slavery in the United States was the most powerful and effective social movement of the nineteenth century and has served as a recurring source of inspiration for every subsequent struggle against injustice. But the abolitionist story has traditionally focused on the evangelical impulses of white, male, middle-class reformers, obscuring the contributions of many African Americans, women, and others.
Prophets of Protest, the first collection of writings on abolitionism in more than a generation, draws on an immense new body of research in African American studies, literature, art history, film, law, women’s studies, and other disciplines. The book incorporates new thinking on such topics as the role of early black newspapers, antislavery poetry, and abolitionists in film and provides new perspectives on familiar figures such as Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, and John Brown.
With contributions from the leading scholars in the field, Prophets of Protest is a long overdue update of one of the central reform movements in America’s history.
As historical understanding of abolition has continued to evolve beyond the picture of a fanatic (and white) fringe movement to greater emphasis on the role of African Americans in the movement and a more accurate portrait of the movement's organizational evolution and influence on the course of events, McCarthy (history and literature, Harvard U.) and Stauffer (English and American civilization, Harvard U.) present 15 papers that demonstrate the range of new revisionist scholarship on the history of abolition. Papers begin with discussion on how scholarship itself has evolved alongside changing ideologies in American society. The next five essays consider the origins of abolitionism, all emphasizing greater continuity between the abolitionists of the Revolutionary War era and those in the years just before the eruption of the Civil War. John Brown is the focus of a pair of essays that ruminate on the connections between his radical interracialism and his willingness to use violence against an inherently violent system. Finally, the rhetoric and art of abolition is explored in the remaining six papers. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Presents a collection of original contributions on American abolitionism by African Americans, women, and other less-represented groups, drawing on a new body of research in African American studies, literature, and law.