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Activist Sentiments takes as its subject women who in fewer than fifty years moved from near literary invisibility to prolific productivity. Grounded in primary research and paying close attention to the historical archive, this book offers against-the-grain readings of the literary and activist work of Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Frances E. W. Harper, Victoria Earle Matthews and Amelia E. Johnson.
Part literary criticism and part cultural history, Activist Sentiments examines nineteenth-century social, political, and representational literacies and reading practices. P. Gabrielle Foreman reveals how Black women's complex and confrontational commentary-often expressed directly in their journalistic prose and organizational involvement--emerges in their sentimental, and simultaneously political, literary production.
P. Gabrielle Foreman is a professor of English and American studies at Occidental College. She is the author of multiple articles and the coeditor of Harriet E. Wilson's Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black.
Acknowledgements; A Note on Language; Introduction; Chapter 1. The Politics of Sex and Representation in Harriet; Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe, Abuser, Victim, Ally, Foe?; Confession and Commodities;