Early Black British Writing



Early Black British Writing

A New Riverside Edition

Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Edited by Alan Richardson and Debbie Lee


Early Black British Writing, edited by Alan Richardson and Debbie Lee, is the most comprehensive volume of its kind. Featuring native African and African heritage authors living in Britain and its colonies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this volume represents an unusually wide range of genres and venues, with a special section of historical "Voices" that have not been widely available for 200 years. The first two sections -- "Narrative" and "Poetry" - include complete texts by Ukawasaw Gronniosaw, an African prince; Mary Prince, the first woman to produce a slave narrative; Robert Wedderburn, a radical London activist with Jamaican roots; and generous selections from Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, Ottobah Cugoano, Phyllis Wheatley, the "African Preacher" John Jea, and others. A lively Introduction, detailed headnotes for each featured author, a chronology, and a fourth section, "Recent Criticism," provide a wealth of context for this fascinating and long neglected subject.

Contents

Introduction

A Note on the Texts

Part One: NARRATIVE

IGNATIUS SANCHO, From Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African

UKAWSAW GRONNIOSAW, A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, An African Prince, As Related by Himself

OTTOBAH CUGOANO, From Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species

OLAUDAH EQUIANO, From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavaus Vassa, the African

JOHN JEA, From The Life, History, and Unparalleled Sufferings of John Jea, The African Preacher

ROBERT WEDDERBURN, From The Axe Laid to the Root, Or a Fatal Blow to Oppressors, Being an Address to the Planters and Negroes of the Island of Jamaica

ROBERT WEDDERBURN, The Horrors of Slavery; Exemplified in the Life and History of the Rev. Robert Wedderburn, V.D.M.

MARY PRINCE, The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave


Part Two: POETRY

PHILLIS WHEATLEY, From Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

OLAUDAH EQUIANO, From The Interesting Narrative

JOHN JEA, From A Collection of Hymns Compiled and Selected by John Jea, African Preacher of the Gospel

JUAN FRANCISCO MANZANO, From Poems by a Slave in the Island of Cuba


Part Three: VOICES

JAMES HARRIS, Letter to James Rogers

Letters from Sierra Leone Settlers

From Further Papers Relating to Slaves in the West Indies, Demerara and Berbice


Part Four: RECENT CRITICISM

PAUL GILROY, "The Rootless Cosmopolitanism of the Black Atlantic"

DONNA LANDRY, "Slavery and Sensibility: Phyllis Wheatley within the Fracture"

SONIA HOFKOSH, "Tradition and the Interesting Narrative: Capitalism, Abolition, and the Romantic Individual"

HELEN THOMAS, "Robert Wedderburn and Mulatto Discourse"

Chronology

Works Cited

For Further Reading