Cover image for A brighter coming day : a Frances Ellen Watkins Harper reader
Title:
A brighter coming day : a Frances Ellen Watkins Harper reader
Author:
Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, 1825-1911.
Publication Information:
New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York : Distributed by the Talman Co., [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
xvi, 416 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781558610194

9781558610200
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PS1799.H7 A6 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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PS1799.H7 A6 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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PS1799.H7 A6 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

The poetry, speeches, letters, and selected fiction of a leading nineteenth-century Black femimist writer and activist are accompanied by a biographical and critical study.


Summary

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was the best known and best loved African-American poet of her time, as well as a teacher and lecturer on abolition, suffrage, education, and many other topics. This anthology contains all of her extant poetry and a generous selection of prose and letters, and provides moving portraits of suffering under slavery, as well as of freedom, love, infidelity, poverty, and heroism.


Author Notes

Popular with both African American and white audiences, Frances Ellen Harper's poetry, novels, short stories, and lectures reflected her antislavery and antiracist attitudes, going beyond these themes to address broader social issues, such as women's suffrage and temperance.

Born to a free family in Baltimore, Harper was encouraged to read and write by her employer, the wife of a bookseller. She moved to the free state of Ohio in 1850, where she taught, spoke for the Anti-Slavery Society of Maine, and published her popular Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854). Her novel, Iola Leroy (1892), depicts a slave family's effort to reunite after emancipation. It was the first work to chronicle the Reconstruction South from an African American point of view. Although criticized by some as overly sentimental and unrealistic, the novel must be seen in context as an appeal for readers' sympathy and understanding.

(Bowker Author Biography)


FRANCES SMITH FOSTER is a Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women's Studies, the former director of the Emory Institute for Women's Studies, and the current chair of the English Department. She has received fellowships from institutions including Fulbright, the Harvard Divinity School, the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard, and the International Theological Center. Her research affiliations include the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project and the Emory Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Religion.

She has authored or edited fourteen books including Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1740-1892 ; A Brighter Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader ; and Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House . Collaborative projects include La Familia En Africa Y La Diaspora Africana/The Family in Africa and the African Diaspora , Norton Anthology of African American Literature , The Oxford Guide to African American Literature , and Norton Critical Edition of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl .


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The first autobiographical picture of Harper's life (1825-1911), this informative introduction approaches her through her complete extant works: speeches, poetry, letters, essays, short stories, and a chapter from her novel, Iola Leroy (the second novel published by an African-American). Foster shows that Harper's work took on a national scope, focusing on race and gender equality, temperance, and Christian reform, and that these themes intensified as she continued writing well after the emancipation. Harper was the most popular African-American poet of her time; the first paid black abolitionist lecturer and short story writer; the first to experiment with dialect in the speech of her characters to express the sensibilities of the oppressed (a technique usually credited to the younger Dunbar); and the first to develop heroic black characters. Foster maintains that the nation's racist reaction to emancipation and sexist reaction to the woman's movement at the turn of the century resulted in Harper's absence from the literary canon. Highly recommended.--Veronica Mitchell, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal Review

The first autobiographical picture of Harper's life (1825-1911), this informative introduction approaches her through her complete extant works: speeches, poetry, letters, essays, short stories, and a chapter from her novel, Iola Leroy (the second novel published by an African-American). Foster shows that Harper's work took on a national scope, focusing on race and gender equality, temperance, and Christian reform, and that these themes intensified as she continued writing well after the emancipation. Harper was the most popular African-American poet of her time; the first paid black abolitionist lecturer and short story writer; the first to experiment with dialect in the speech of her characters to express the sensibilities of the oppressed (a technique usually credited to the younger Dunbar); and the first to develop heroic black characters. Foster maintains that the nation's racist reaction to emancipation and sexist reaction to the woman's movement at the turn of the century resulted in Harper's absence from the literary canon. Highly recommended.--Veronica Mitchell, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.