Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reading Testimony, Witnessing TraumaConfronting Race, Gender, and Violence in American Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eden Wales Freedman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496827333

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496827333.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2020

“To Be Free to Say So”

“To Be Free to Say So”

Witnessing Trauma in the Narratives of Harriet Jacobs, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Keckley

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 1 “To Be Free to Say So”
Source:
Reading Testimony, Witnessing Trauma
Author(s):

Eden Wales Freedman

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496827333.003.0002

This chapter examines Afra-American emancipatory narratives as fundamentally testimonial literature, foundational to ensuing readings of trauma, blackness, and womanhood. Specifically, the chapter analyzes Sojourner Truth’s Narrative (1850), Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), and Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes (1868) to consider how black and female speakers witness through nineteenth-century emancipatory narratives. The chapter also considers an Afra-American narrator’s (in)ability to testify to her personal experience of the prevalence of sexual abuse in American slavery and the misogynoir it reflects; how the intrusion of an amanuensis, editor, or pseudonym into a narrative affects its witnessing potential; and how gender and race work together and against each other to help and hinder witnessing. Finally, the chapter considers how contemporary readers may respond to these narratives, laying a foundation for succeeding readings of trauma and reception theory and race and gender studies in (African) American literature.

Keywords:   Afra-American, emancipatory narratives, misogynoir, sexual abuse, slavery

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.