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William L. Andrews, ‘Slavery and Class in the American South: A Generation of Slave Narrative Testimony, 1840–1865’
April 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
In ‘Slavery and Class in the American South: A Generation of Slave Narrative Testimony, 1840–1865,’ William L. Andrews studies an entire generation of slave narrators. More than 60 mid–19th century narratives reveal how work, family, skills and connections made for social and economic differences among the enslaved of the South. Slave narrators disclosed class-based reasons for violence that broke out between ‘impudent,’ ‘gentleman’ and ‘lady’ slaves and their resentful ‘mean masters.’ Andrews’s far-reaching book shows that status and class played key roles in the self and social awareness and in the processes of liberation portrayed in the narratives of the most celebrated fugitives from U.S. slavery, such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown and William and Ellen Craft.
Andrews is the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 40 books on African American literature and history and is the recipient of the Jay B. Hubbell Medal for lifetime achievement in the study of American literature.
This event is sponsored by the The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History