Posts Tagged ‘literature’

  • how slave narrative came to be called literature.
  • the slave narrative start a literary tradition.
  • emotive language. emotive situation. the pathos of the position of the narrator.
  • oral histories
  • language is strikingly similar in structure, content and theme.
  1. a corpus of non- fiction and fiction, oral and written, which asserts the equality, differentness -and sometimes superiority- of Blacks and Black- American way of doing and perceiving things.
  2. a set of political principles, primarily consistent in their outrage against inequality.
  3. a brace of ethical and artistic critiria which will be considered valid or invalid writing by Black Americans.
  4. a human code for translating the mute matter of a world in which certain races and inhuman system combine to destroy other races and more humane systems.


Josiah Henson (1789- 1883) – “Truth Stranger than Fiction” (1858)

  • feeling of pride in fulfilling his slave duties to his master.
  • Henson tells of his decision not to choose freedom for himself and his compatriots when it is effortlessly graspable.


The three types of emotive language in a slave narrative:

  1. prejudicial- negetive connotation
  2. prepossessive- positive
  3. euphemistic- expression of understatement or grim humour.

“Each man to his own Canada” –Ishmael Reed.

[Canada became a state of mind. Where men with black skin may be free.]

“The life and Times of Frederick Douglass” – Frederick Douglass(1881)

  • “American Slavery”
  • makes satire of the celebration of the Fourth of July as day of “independence” for all.
  • “what the negro wants”
  • “immediate, unconditional, and universal enfranchise of the black man”.

Booker T. Washington: advocate a sort of seperate, skilled guild of black blue-collar workers who would be content with their stations.

  • education as an organic part of Black self- realisation.

W. E. B. Du Bous: often called the father of sociology in US.

US as a literate, print- sensitive culture. as opposed to preliterate, oral and aural- sensitive culture.