➊ Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy

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Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy



These were not, however, the only category of slave law that dealt specifically with disabled Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy. The series of literal and metaphorical links Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy between enslaved blacks and dis- abled people in Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy Ricky Childhood Trauma Case Study law were not lost Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy antebellum abolitionists. Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy Decem- ber 12, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. AroundJohn C. Her use Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy personal emotions Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy a key Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy Why People Abandon Animals Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy successful. The interruption used showed how intense and Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy Beatrice was; She want to make sure that her thoughts were heard.

Trethewey and Ekphrasis

Ekphrastic poems reflect photographs and the painting of Winslow Homer. The narcissism of this boy might well gesture toward the narcissism and self-absorption of the young. The poem seems to indicate this. But narcissism and self absorption is always characteristic of an abuser in a domestic relationship, in Trethewey's step-father. Only concerned with himself, he does not love his wife well. As a result, they are both destroyed. There is another ghost or shadow here as well. Labels: family history , history , myth , Natasha Trethewey , Native Guard , violence , war. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Benjamin R.

Petitions for Pardon. Florency-Horney Counties. Box 67, Folder South Carolina Department of Archives and His- tory. Reel, Jerome V. Roback, Jennifer. Rogers Jr. James Taylor. A South Carolina Chronology — University of South Carolina Press. Ruffin v. Sanborn, Frank B. Du Bois. Atlanta: Atlanta University Press. Accessed December 16, The State vs. Jack Givins. October Term Indictment for Larceny of live stock. Record No. Wade Foster. The State of South Carolina. County of Spartanburg Court of General Sessions.

October Term, Indictment for Housebreaking in daytime. Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. National Archives. Clemson Digital Press. April Tillman, Benjamin. Tillman, 4 December Whitman, James Q. New York: Oxford University Press. Accessed Decem- ber 15, His remarks capture the depth with which he internalized a sense of white superiority. From his perspective, even at their best, enslaved blacks were inherently defective, deviant, de- praved—in a word, imperfect. Various subsets of slave law emerged, many with the goal of determining the answers to specific questions about slave bodies: Were they damaged or broken? Were they criminal? Were they worthy of manumission? In light of this reality, slave laws—designed to arbitrate property disputes, mete out punishments, and determine eligibility for manumission among other official tasks—were centered on black bodies and minds, particularly those considered damaged and defective.

Regardless of whether they reflected or generated wider social beliefs, and despite variances between them over time and space, these laws constructed a legal narrative of blackness that persistently embedded a range of qualities often associated with disabilities within the meta- language of race Higginbotham , 5. Much like race, class, or gender, disability can serve as a useful category of historical analysis—a concept—that illuminates how dominant groups justified patterns of injustice and inequality by attributing qualities associated with disability to specific groups of people Baynton , Reading the laws of slavery in states of the upper and lower South through this lens highlights the conceptual relationship between race and disability and the myriad ways in which the bodies and minds of enslaved people were literally and metaphorically deformed and stigmatized by legal narratives of race.

The institutionalization of these perceived links between race and disability in the legal realm were, by the mid-nineteenth century, so naturalized that they appeared to have always existed, though they had, in fact, been forged through statute and case law that reached back to the colonial era. III , — As the first slave codes took shape, they absorbed negative beliefs about African peo- ples and went on to influence emergent slave law in regions of North America that eventu- ally became part of the United States. The first cohesive bodies of slave law were enacted in the s in Virginia, by the early s in South Carolina which also borrowed heavily from Barbadian slave laws , and nearer to the middle of the century in Georgia, where slavery was initially banned A.

Higginbotham , 38 and These early slave codes served as models for other southern states that became part of the nation after the American Revolution, a process that further expanded and solidified this metaphorical relationship between blackness and disability Flanigan , 10— From their earliest, flexible incarnations, ideas about disabilities mediated and were embedded in the laws of slavery, which at once reflected and institutionalized then-nebulous social views of blackness as somehow deviant and defective, providing a legal basis for the emergence of increasingly crystalized racial beliefs. The South Carolina Review 29 Criminal laws represent one key facet of slave law that involved disabilities in obvi- ous and disturbing ways.

During the colonial era, violent punishments for criminal acts literally inscribed disability onto the bodies of enslaved blacks. Penal laws established and codified a number of double standards for trying, convicting, and pun- ishing bondpeople for their alleged transgressions—they considered more crimes capital offenses for blacks than whites, targeted only enslaved people for insurrection, deliberately rushed the trials of enslaved people, and rejected slave testimony except in cases involving other slaves Hening v.

As part of these discriminatory procedures, colonial courts sentenced enslaved people to punishments that inflicted disabling injuries onto their bodies. The intentional disablement of enslaved blacks for their crimes far exceeded punishments that condemned whites faced for similar and even greater offenses A. Higginbotham and Schwartz The courts clearly viewed the infliction of a permanent disability as the ultimate injury and insult to be lev- ied against an individual and reserved this humiliating and stigmatizing punishment for enslaved and sometimes free blacks alone. In this way, they persistently linked enslaved blacks in particular and blackness in general to disabilities, yet the long-term implications of this practice in terms of social and legal constructions of race—that blackness and dis- ability were collapsed into the same intellectual and legal space—remains almost invisible.

As a result, physical injury became the only significant and viable means of punishing them. Fining enslaved criminals was contradictory since they could not legally own property, while imprisoning them burdened their owners by depriving them of access to their laborers. Since this quandary persisted until the ante- bellum years, the pro-slavery legal thinker Thomas R. In the colonial years, courts estab- lished this precedent and began the practice of sentencing enslaved blacks with disabling punishments for many offenses—theft, running away, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

A Virginia act found that it was inconvenient to consider theft committed by a slave a capi- tal crime punishable by death. III , VII , Habitual running away in South Carolina, then, led to increasingly disabling and disfiguring punishments, the most severe of which caused permanent physical disability by deliberately severing the achilles tendon. This practice also existed in Virginia, where runaway slaves faced the am- putation of one of their legs throughout the colonial decades Hening v.

VIII , On a pragmatic level, deliberate disablement prevented further attempts at absconding; dramatically changed the everyday lives of those who experienced these punishments; and weaved together associations between blackness, deviance, and disability in the law and the wider society. Enslaved men convicted of sexual assault and attempted rape of white women in co- lonial America also faced disabling and disfiguring punishments of a particularly gendered and intimate nature, namely castration, as was the case in Virginia Hening v.

While castration symbolized utter emasculation, it also inflicted a permanent physi- cal disability intended to humiliate the condemned individual, cause intimate physical loss and sterility, and repulse those aware of it. Moreover, castration can lead to skeletal deformities resulting from severe osteoporosis as well as gynecomastia, the development of large and pendulous breasts Wilson and Roehrborn Even bondpeople who faced execution had their bodies brutally maimed and dis- abled prior to death and then further desecrated and displayed afterward as a warning to others.

In the decades following the American Revolution, a spirit of reform driven by a number of interlocking factors swept the nation and addressed these types of maiming and torturous punishments. Southern slave codes reflected these changing ideals and gradually established limits on the extent of physical injury allowed to be exacted on the bodies of enslaved people. Inflicting disabilities as a pun- ishment for criminal acts faded into the presumably more humane, less destructive, and certainly more familiar policy of whipping by the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century.

Cobb lamented the quandary of this development from a legal standpoint, remarking: The extremes [of ] death and whipping being the only available punishments, it becomes necessary in forming a slave code to throw all offences under the one or the other. Hence many offences are from public policy necessarily made capital, which when committed by a white person are not. These colonial laws and their immediate aftermath demonstrate one of the primary means through which the courts embedded disability into slave law and drew a violent, direct parallel between a particular racial group and actual physical disabilities.

Commonplace ideas about disability also mediated colonial laws related to the manu- mission of enslaved people. Very early on, lawmakers expressed concerns that freed slaves would become social burdens or charges to the state. The issue of providing care for dis- abled or ill-indentured servants and lifelong slaves surfaced in the colonial era and clearly influenced slave manumission laws in later decades.

In Virginia mandated: That if such servant be so sick and lame, or otherwise rendered so uncapable [sic] that he or she cannot be sold for such a value…the said court shall then order the church-wardens…to take care of and provide for the said servant…[T]he said court, from time to time, shall order the charges of keeping the said servant to be levied upon the goods and chattels of the master or owner of the said servant. Hening v. The courts eventually resolved this tension through more strict and pre- cise laws, which placed greater financial responsibility on slaveholders who emancipated their bondpeople.

By the Revolutionary era, manumission laws grew far more specific. Slaveholders could only free bondpeople by legislative acts if they met a series of stringent physical qualifications and owners posted bonds to pay for their care in the event that they became disabled and unable to care for themselves Klebaner Manumission laws varied widely from state to state, but such caveats were a staple of virtually all of them. XI , Over the course of the next half century, these directives further expanded and sometimes called for freed slaves to leave the state within a certain period of time or risk re-enslavement.

By this point, rules determining how to provide care for manumitted people who were or became disabled, ill, or otherwise dependent on the state were clearly articulated and rivaled anxieties about limiting the size of a large, potentially insurrectionary free black population. The vexing national issue of pauperism in the antebellum years likely contributed to these more aggressive manumission laws. Immigration, industrialization, and urbaniza- tion all contributed to a substantial increase in the number of people throughout the United States who sought social welfare, many of whom were disabled.

Also, be- cause slavery was largely an agrarian institution, consumption and production occurred within the same place, which, in theory, should have alleviated outright pauperism among enslaved people. Occasionally, however, some bondpeople qualified for and received pub- lic assistance. Despite the presence of such laws, the personal narratives of formerly enslaved people often assert that especially cruel slaveholders had little qualms with abandoning slaves they deemed useless and worthless because of age or disability. For free blacks living with disabilities, these circumstances undoubtedly made life even more difficult.

These were not, however, the only category of slave law that dealt specifically with disabled slaves. While scholars recognize the inhumanity of equating people with property, their emphasis on race elides and tacitly excuses the simultaneous—and perhaps more familiar and accept- able—devaluation and objectification of people on the basis of visible and invisible disabili- ties, defects, and deformities. Similar laws existed throughout the slaveholding states and remained in force until the antebellum era. In states like Kentucky and Louisiana, courts handed down even greater penalties to those responsible for disabling enslaved people Stroud , 40— Many cases dealing with compensation for slaveholders involved the outright death of enslaved people, but the remainder dealt with permanent or temporary disabilities caused by in- juries from violent beatings, accidents, or negligence.

One case in particular captures the devastating effects that the property laws of slavery wrought for persons with disabilities and the doubly oppressive intersection of race and disability in their lives. The initial decision, then, held that this now completely blind man would remain with his mistress, Jourdan. The State Supreme Court argued: The principle of humanity, which would lead us to suppose that the mistress, whom he had long served, would treat her miserable blind slave with more kind- ness than the defendant, to whom the judgment ought to transfer him, cannot be taken into consideration in deciding this case.

These cases, as one scholar makes clear, were not simply about property law per se. In other instances, recently purchased slaves exhibited vices—like being a habitual runaway or drunkard—that po- tentially revealed their innate defects of character, depending on how white slaveholding men interpreted them Gross , 79—80; 86— These interpretations reflected either dishonesty on the part of the seller for obscuring these qualities at the time of sale or ineptitude on the part of the purchaser for failing to manage slaves properly.

Which- ever party more convincingly argued their case determined the outcome of the contested warranty suit Gross , 79— Signs of honor were manifested in displays of masculine independence like able-bodied- ness to physically defend oneself and honest, rational, intellectual minds—all of which were the antithesis of qualities ascribed to enslaved blacks and supposedly evidenced by skin color.

In the realm of property law—and specifically slave-warranty cases—litigants argued over and metaphorically ascribed the stigma of physical and psychological disabil- ity to enslaved people to uphold their notions of honor. Restrictive slave codes governing behavior existed throughout the slaveholding states from the colonial era through the antebellum years, often supplemented by local mu- nicipal ordinances that further clarified them Lucas , 29— II , VI , and In some cases free blacks could testify against whites and blacks, but many states, like South Carolina, entirely rejected even their testimony Wheeler , This emphasis on competency also worked hand in glove with other socially disabling slave laws, particularly those involving education.

The moral imperative of religious in- struction in the colonial years initially suppressed white anxieties about slave literacy, but the infamous Stono Rebellion prompted South Carolina to the pass the first anti-literacy laws in and forbid whites from teaching enslaved people to write McCord v. This later expanded to include reading and other southern states followed suit, such as Georgia in Monaghan , Enslaved people were well aware of the dire consequences of ignoring these laws. Of all the socially disabling aspects of slave law, denying literacy and education to enslaved people was one of the most well-known and deeply resented. In- deed, from the post-Revolutionary years onward, many Americans viewed those labeled idiotic as able-bodied but ignorant with an innocent, almost childlike nature, though per- haps with the propensity to be criminal in their ignorance.

They were often the brunt of mean-spirited jokes and were sometimes the objects of pity and charity. While state laws encompassed a range of metaphorical handicaps that linked together ideas of race and disability, lawmakers also occasionally institutionalized such sentiments at the federal level. Fed- eral law, then, neither considered enslaved people citizens nor did it entirely dehumanize them. Rather, it constructed them as disabled and disadvantaged in comparison to elite, white, able-bodied male citizens whose worth in terms of political representation was whole and complete. The series of literal and metaphorical links drawn between enslaved blacks and dis- abled people in southern slave law were not lost on antebellum abolitionists.

They often targeted slave law to demonstrate not only the inhumanity of the institution but also its contradictory presence in a presumably free, democratic society. By the s, as William Lloyd Garrison began amassing white support, abolitionists capitalized on changing views of physical, psychological, and intellectual disabilities in the larger society to advance their cause. Reformers, like Dorothea Dix, targeted hospitals, almshouses, and asylums to expose horrific, inhumane conditions and lobby for change. In this atmosphere, it is little surprise that one of the first major abolitionist tracts to garner considerable attention centered on the spectacle of disability to emphasize the inhumanity of legally sanctioned slavery.

It became the largest- selling antislavery tract up to that point, selling twenty-two thousand copies in its first four months in print and a hundred thousand by the end of its first year Leonard , Abolitionist writers after Weld continued to deploy the rhetoric of disability, even in literary representations of slavery. For example, after the coarse slave trader Mr. Other characters, like Cassy and Prue, experience varying degrees of disablement as a direct consequence of their enslavement. In addition to using the spectacle of disability to convey the violence and injury heaped upon enslaved people, Stowe—like Weld—also deploys it in other ways. Throughout the text, she draws attention to laws forbidding slave mar- riage and education, sanctioning the domestic trade, making it illegal to help or harbor fugitive slaves, and legitimizing slave catching with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in Stowe even addresses the issue of denying enslaved people a legal voice through the actions of Simon Legree, who ensured that no whites witnessed the daily barrage of violence he meted out to those he enslaved.

In another instance, fugitive slave George Harris crosses paths with Mr. Wilson, who had once employed George as a hired hand in his factory. Troubled by the fact that George was running away, Wilson attempts to sway him by pointing out that he was breaking the laws of his country. What laws are there for us? Look at my face,—look at my hands,—look at my body…why am I not a man, as much as anybody? By evoking the testimony of first-person witnesses and her own personal experiences, Stowe establishes the legitimacy of her narrative by standing on facts and evidence. Laws pertaining to enslaved people indeed consistently and repetitively linked ideas about blackness to those about disability. Thomas R. Note 1. Jenifer L. Barclay would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Carter G.

Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia that enabled her to conduct research and draft portions of this article as a pre- doctoral fellow. She benefitted tremendously from the insights of faculty members—particularly Deborah McDowell, Marlon Ross, Claudrena Harold, Risa Goluboff, and Charles McCurdy—as well as from other fellows who were part of the — and — cohorts. She also acknowledges the continued support she received as a Case Western Reserve University Postdoctoral Fellow in African Ameri- can Studies, with many thanks to Rhonda Williams for her sage advice and constructive criticism.

Nik Ribianszky and Tshepo Masango Chery also gave freely of their time to read and comment on this work. Works Cited Baynton, Douglas. Longmore and Lauri Umanski. Berlin, Ira. New York: Pantheon Books. Brown, Kathleen. Browne, Stephen. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Bullard, Henry A. New Orleans: E. Bush, Jonathan A. Camp, Stephanie. Clinton, Catherine. Cobb, Thomas R. Philadelphia: T. Johnson and Company. Dayan, Collin. Princeton: Princ- eton University Press. Douglass, Frederick. New York: Penguin, Driskell, E. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Elkins, Stanley. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Ely, Jr. Flanigan, Daniel. Dissertation Rice University.

Garland-Thompson, Rosemarie. Greenburg, Kenneth S. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Gross, Ariela. Hening, William Walter, ed. II, v. III, v. VIII, v. Higginbotham, Jr. Higginbotham, Evelyn. Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing Company. Hotchkiss, William A. Codification of the Statute Law of Georgia. Augusta: Charles E. Joyner, Hannah. Kiesling, L. Lynne and Robert A. Klages, Mary. Philadelphia: Univer- sity of Pennsylvania Press. Klebaner, Benjamin Joseph. Leonard, Thomas C. Louisville: University Press of Kentucky. Longmore, Paul and Lauri Umansky, eds. Lucas, Marion B. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

McCord, David J. The Statutes at Large of South Carolina. Columbia, SC: A. Monaghan, E. Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America. Amherst: University of Mas- sachusetts Press. Oliphant, Louis. Schwartz, Philip. State of Virginia. Richmond, VA: William F. A History of Disability. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Stowe, Harriet Beecher. New York: Penguin Books. Stroud, George. New York: Negro Universities Press. Trent, James W. Berkeley: University of California Press. Weld, Theodore Dwight, ed. Wheeler, Jacob D. New York: Allan Pol- lock, Jr. Wilson, Jean D. Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. New York: Oxford Uni- versity Press. The historical narrative of this revolutionary moment generally frames the Black Loyalists in two distinct manners: as an ironic counter-narrative to the mythology surrounding the Founding Fathers or as a powerful example of the quest for freedom in an age of revolutionary ideals.

Someone Knows My Name, however, uses the Black Loyalist migration as a suggestive moment for theorizing international affiliation with Africa. As her sense of African-affiliated community expands throughout her narrative, Aminata also develops her capacity to give narrative shape to her community. Much of her time is spent in contact with the established and hybridized slave cultures of the American colonies, yet the cultural affiliation Aminata develops is distinct from the traditions of the low-country slaves or black New Yorkers during the Revolution.

In her ever-expanding village, Africa remains an enduring presence with the ability to enrich her collective affiliations. Such a vision of Africa interrogates some of the major assumptions of widely influential diasporan and hybridity theories, most notably articulated by Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall She is sold into slavery at Bance Island Sierra Leone and works in indigo production in South Carolina, where she learns to read and write in English. Eventually, Aminata is sold to the Jewish indigo inspector, Solomon Lindo, and works for him as an accountant. In an attempt to stabilize the indigo market through legislative channels, Aminata and Lindo travel to New York City just before the American Revolu- tion, and Aminata escapes into Canvas Town, where many other escaped slaves have set up crude shelters and begun a community.

While teaching reading and writing at a local church, Aminata is hired by the British government to record the names of Black Loyal- ists leaving New York for other points in the Commonwealth. In addition to having her write this fictional autobiography, Hill also situates Aminata as the anonymous author of the Book of Negroes. She ends the novel in London, writing her autobiography, after leaving the Freetown settlement in a failed at- tempt to return once more to her hometown of Bayo. While the ten families in the Bayo of her childhood are the only community she can imagine at the beginning of the novel, in her final days in London, she has embraced an imagined community of readers in her autobiog- raphy. Such expansion of her sense of connection is based upon the totality of her story and her insistence that her identity is predicated upon more than her former-slave status or her experience of the Middle Passage.

It is based upon the circuitous nature of her travel, yet it still maintains powerful roots in Africa. Ful- filling such a role is impossible for Aminata, for she is doubly handicapped: She is both a woman and enslaved. Her desire to see, record, and recount the history that unfolds before her, however, is one of the reasons Aminata is able to survive various traumas. While Aminata imagines the group that experienced similar atrocities, this passage also implies the greater collective of readers and listeners who might gain from her story. Seen as an expansive gesture, such authorship fosters an imag- ined community within her reading audience while narrating the methods by which the transported slaves formed their own collective.

That the Middle Passage would be a moment of collective formation amongst the slaves is not surprising; indeed, this is one of the central tenets of African American lit- erature and Black Atlantic literary theory. However, this Middle Passage is noteworthy in that it is only the beginning in a process for Aminata: it is on the slave ship that her notion of group identity begins to expand and where she first tries to articulate that com- munity. Rather than see herself only as a child of Bayo, Aminata begins to understand herself in relation to the other captives. In fact, her exchange with Biton, a captured chief who eventually leads a slave rebellion onboard, causes Aminata to look outward.

Although Fomba—a woloso, or second-generation slave, from her village—has lost his mind in cap- tivity, Aminata still tries to get him privileges with the captains of the slave vessel. Biton, however, urges Aminata to use her influence with the white men in order to have other slaves useful to the rebellion put into positions of relative privilege. This initially seems to be a moment in which the slave ship takes primacy over the Afri- can village for identity formation, as Biton certainly tells Aminata that Bayo ceases to enrich actively her daily life after capture.

What Biton relates to Aminata is the beginning of a negotiation central to the pro- gression of her narrative. The captives will understandably identify with their places of origin in Africa, yet the experi- ence of the Middle Passage is such that many disparate people and groups are inextricably bound together. To make the experience less traumatic, Aminata begins to sing a song that weaves together the names and villages of each person on deck. Such clapping and dancing transforms the forced ritual into a community building exercise.

Aminata barely survives her transport across the Atlantic and is so sickly that she is sold in Charleston, along with Fomba the woloso, as a refuse slave to Robinson Appleby, who intends for her to work his indigo plantation in the South Carolina Sea Islands. There, she learns to speak three languages—the vernacular English used by plantation slaves, the dialect used by the planters, and Gullah used by low-country slaves—as well as the customs of the South Carolina slave population. These two influences leave Aminata struggling to understand the new community into which she has been thrown as well as the place from which she was taken and with which she still strongly identifies.

She introduces Aminata to low-country customs and the Gullah language, and it is by traveling throughout the low-country with Georgia that Aminata gains a richer sense of the culture that exists all around her new home. Our words swim the riv- ers, all the way from Savannah to St. Helena to Charles Town and farther up. At the beginning of her enslavement to Appleby, Aminata immediately looks for a boy named Chekura, who had become something like a brother to her on their Atlantic crossing and who was sold to a different low-country planter. She mostly searches for information about how to get back to Africa from the colonies, but none of the books at her disposal are very useful for this.

However, read- ing almanacs, medicine guides, and the Bible does leave Aminata with a growing desire to understand and give an account of her place in the world. Very early upon arriving in South Carolina, Aminata realizes that Bayo holds no meaning across the Atlantic—to slaves and owners alike—for she is African, a term she had never heard until this point. Reading books, however, allows her to get a better sense of herself, even as she reads exclusively about the planter class and their concerns: Books were all about the ways of the buckra, but soon I felt that I could not do without them.

And I lived in hope that one day I would find a book that answered my questions. Where was Africa, exactly, and how did you get there? Sometimes I felt ashamed to have no answer. How could I come from a place but not know where it was? Hill , This individual quest for knowledge carries on throughout her life, and her search for in- formation about her homeland always takes place parallel to her involvement in building, sustaining, and narrating a community. She most keenly feels the desire for information about Africa while in Charleston after being sold to Solomon Lindo, the indigo inspector. How were the black men who stole me from Bayo tied to the Christians and Jews who traded in slaves in South Carolina? While her personal and cultural connections to Georgia, Chekura, and others strengthen in South Carolina, Aminata continues to find her individual identity through memories of Bayo.

As on the slave ship, community life both contracts and expands—she still considers Bayo her home, yet her identity continues to be influenced by an expanding group consciousness that has little connection to that African village. The course of her enslavement to Lindo coincides with the growing hostilities be- tween the colonists and the British government, and Lindo eventually takes Aminata to New York City to help lobby for governmental policy that can stabilize the South Carolina indigo market.

While the two are in the North, fighting breaks out in Lexington and Con- cord, and Aminata takes her opportunity to run away, eventually settling in the makeshift black neighborhood of Canvas Town. Her entry into a larger community in New York begins almost immediately upon fleeing Lindo and the slave system he represents, when Aminata walks through the city and into the burial ground for African Americans. A fu- neral for a child is taking place, and when she sees the mourning adults and listens to their songs, Aminata cannot help but join them in their grief: They took me into their dancing, and did not ask where I came from, for all they had to do was look at me and hear my own sobs in my maternal tongue and they knew that I was one of them.

The dead infant was…every person who had been tossed into the unforgiving sea on the endless journey across the big river. Thus, Aminata has no personal connections to foster from this exchange, yet she is left with an entire African-based collective to imagine and identify with in the abstract. Much like the fishnet in South Carolina, the network of blacks in New York City is extensive and has its own methods of connection. Yet, in contrast to the more direct exchange of information in the fishnet, the community Aminata finds in New York is largely imagined. After gaining a stronger sense of ethnic identity and collectivity in New York, Aminata begins to foster personal connections in Canvas Town through acts of literacy.

This moment both continues and expands her role as a djeli, as she continues to attest to her community but does so by reading and writing in addition to oral recitation. Her time teaching in New York spans the American Revolution, and when Loyalist New York finally needs to be evacuated, Aminata is known around the city as the member of the black community who knows everyone and can read and write. The British army then hires her to record the names and descriptions of each departing black in the Book of Negroes. In this moment, Aminata seems to take on the role of the djeli yet again. Indeed, listening to the emigrants and recording their names thus combines the written and oral traditions with which she is so familiar. I felt that I was giv- ing something special to the Negroes seeking asylum in Nova Scotia, and that they were giving something special to me.

At this point in the novel, Aminata rapidly gains two further claims upon her identity: she self-identifies as a Black Loyalist and joins the emigration to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, then joins the movement to Sierra Leone. A relatively small narrative space is actually given to the experience in Nova Scotia, as most of the events seem directed toward the mass exodus to Sierra Leone ten disappointing years later.

The experience also propels her toward her dream of returning to Bayo, resurrecting her lifelong process of negotiating her personal experiences with the claims of community upon her identity. It takes many years and an unfavorable bargain with an African slaver before the opportunity to travel to Bayo arises. The Freetown settlement sees its share of problems in these years, and Hill includes the historically real controversies over land allotments and quitrents, bombardment by French warships in , an armed-settler rebellion over land ownership in , and the influx of hundreds of Jamaican maroons who subsequently put down that rebellion.

Returning to Africa provides Aminata with an undeniable lesson: although she may still consider herself undeniably connected to the region, the local Temne think of her as closer to white. Her notions of group belonging, which have expanded since her capture, must change again to encompass her African origins and her identification with the Black Loyalists and Nova Scotian returnees. Her return inland, back to Bayo, fails. Near exhaustion, she runs away and is taken in at a small village and nursed back to health.

The trip to Bayo fails on the most elementary level, as Aminata cannot complete the walk and will never see her hometown again. The lack of complete attachment to Nova Scotian and Freetown culture is only attribut- able to her insistence on returning to a home village. Her month recuperating, however, puts Aminata into the position of djeli and reanimates the desire to understand her life and collective identity together. Her story is a combination of the personal and the collective, a culmination of her individual journeys around the Atlantic. Always, with each story, I was asked for names. I told of growing indigo, and harvesting it, and Negroes enslaved in America regardless of where they were born. She is at home with her African audience and equally comfortable identifying herself as an African-born woman, a former slave, and a betrayed colonist.

Such a composite worldview in Africa makes her trip to London almost superfluous, as she has already embraced her role as djeli—she can already understand herself and her people as globally relevant, even when enslaved. As an author and testifier against the slave trade, she is able to reach an even wider imagined commu- nity of readers, and she is careful to teach this community about her entire life. Amidst the immediate political crusade against the slave trade, she once again asserts that her identity, and that of blacks worldwide, is not reducible to slavery or to the Middle Passage.

Someone Knows My Name is perpetually concerned with the in-between, all of it. Aminata demands that her readers and listeners understand her story, and the story of the Black Loyalists, in its totality. And by asking such complete vision of her audience, she asserts the need for understanding a way of belonging for blacks that cannot rely only on notions of national citizenship. Hill addresses his own concerns about the problems of identity formation in Canada by looking to the Black Loyalist story as a whole, by un- derstanding it as a circum-Atlantic narrative about more than slavery, more than racism, more than the Middle Passage. If Hill comments on how African-Canadians are to make sense of their cultural heritage, it is by affirming a place for Africa within that worldview.

The South Carolina Review 53 The point is not that Canada lacks a place for blacks, but that Canada is not even the right place to look. Aminata is not Canadian, nor is she completely African either. Africa is her home, blacks around the globe are her people, and she is a djeli for anyone who will listen. Someone Knows My Name asks to be heard in its entirety. Notes 1. Thousands of slaves ran away to join their ranks. Many were asked to serve as foot soldiers against the revolutionaries, while oth- ers became cooks, servants, and even river guides through the swamps of Georgia and South Carolina. The Loyalist forces accepted all runaways, not just men capable of serving on the front lines, resulting in large groups of women, children, and the elderly making their ways from the southern work fields to the camps of the British army.

In the immediate aftermath of the war, after British defeat, Commander Sir Guy Carleton kept the promise of freedom to any black who could prove to have been behind British lines for at least one year. For the historical treatment of the Black Loyalists as a counter-narrative to the accepted story of the American Revolution, see Frey , Nash , Schama , and Quarles On the other hand, Pybus , Walker , and Wilson narrate this story chiefly in terms of individual quests for liberty.

Someone Knows My Name is often commended as a work that asserts the presence and importance of African Canadians in the Canadian national story in more complicated ways than are typically seen. Far from presenting Canada as an unproblematic haven for freed slaves—or, implicitly, as a happy, multicultural land in the present day—Hill gives a complex, often con- tradictory vision of black Canadian life. See Virgo , Krampe , and Yorke By contrast, the novel itself reaches beyond national borders throughout.

The Book of Negroes is the longest document about African Americans written before the nineteenth century. It lists around three thousand freed or escaped slaves who joined the ranks of the British Army and were evacuated at the end of the American Revolution. The book was compiled in as a record for Americans to calculate the value of former property that had been evacuated with the British. Author- ship of the Book of Negroes is anonymous, although it was certainly compiled by a variety of British and American officers on board the departing ships. It can be found in its entirety in Hodges , and a digitized copy is available online through the Nova Scotia Archives Province of Nova Scotia The dynamic interplay between individual and collective is played out again in the composition of the historical Book of Negroes.

Although most descriptions are short and lack much actual description e. Works Cited Frey, Sylvia R. Gilroy, Paul. Hall, Stuart. London: Lawrence and Wishart. Toronto: Harper Perennial. Someone Knows My Name. New York: Norton. Any Known Blood. Toronto: HarperCollins. First published by William Morrow. Some Great Thing. First published by Turnstone Press. Hodges, Graham Russell.

New York: Garland. Krampe, Christian J. Nash, Gary B. New York: Viking. Piot, Charles. Province of Nova Scotia. Pybus, Cassandra. Boston: Beacon. Quarles, Benjamin. The Negro in the American Revolution. Sagawa, Jessie. Schama, Simon. New York: Ecco. Virgo, Clement. Walker, James W. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Wilson, Ellen Gibson. The Loyal Blacks. New York: Putnam. Yorke, Stephanie. When Mandy Oxendine was finally published a full century after its rejection, read- ers were met with a dichotomous text, its plot both prescriptive and pioneering. Addressing the intersection of these motives invigorates Chesnutt studies by stretching the boundaries of his legacy as a regionalist who employed creative discursive strategies to cri- tique racial injustice to acknowledge his historically forward-thinking environmental ethos.

However, as the novel progresses, the forest takes on a decidedly more ominous personality, its shadows the cover for a series of sexually and racially motivated violent crimes. Ultimately, just as Chesnutt struggles to settle on a genre for his story and to uphold a thematic structure centered on race, so does he seem to grapple with how to present the natural world—a problem that finds resolution in the supernatural elements of his conjure stories and that coalesces in a clear denunciation of practices like large-scale agriculture and timber production that both harm the natural world and uphold economic systems based on the subjugation of the African American population. In this case, that includes the no-nonsense heroine Mandy, as well as the mixed-race population of North Carolina in which Chesnutt was so invested.

Mandy Oxendine is the story of two young light-complexioned North Carolina lov- ers who seek to enrich their lives through drastically contrasting means. Tom Lowrey leaves Mandy Oxendine and their secluded community behind to get an education in the North and become a teacher for African American children. During his two-year absence, Mandy concludes that she has been forgotten by Lowrey and also decides to leave home, but she makes the bold choice to live as a white woman when she settles down again seventy-five miles away.

Lowrey tracks down Mandy near Sandy Run, a small town on the outskirts of fictional Rosinville, North Carolina, and secures a teaching job there. He must keep his distance from his beloved, however, as she is not only passing, but also being courted by a dodgy member of the decaying local white aristocracy. The drama that ensues highlights the vexing social position of light-complexioned, mixed-raced Americans in the postbellum South and calls attention to the extent to which race is socially constructed and, in some cases, an enactment. Chesnutt is often characterized as a regionalist, and his first novel reflects key com- ponents of this late-century movement, despite other prominent literary influences, such as popular race and crime fiction.

Chesnutt also takes pains to describe community customs accurately, such as the religious, educational, and vocational activities of the region, as well as the people of this community. In particular, he aspires to and achieves roundness in his portrayal of Mandy. Moreover, the three primary figures—the narrator, Mandy, and Lowrey—are each clearly representative of how various genres compete in the book. Mandy fulfills and then upsets the role of the tragic mulatta, which is typical of race fiction.

In addition, each of these figures also has a distinct relationship to the forest, which helps account for its evolving role as the story line progresses. The first pages of Mandy Oxendine privilege the views of the narrator and suggest his awareness of and relationship to his surroundings, which constitute a fictionalized version of Cumberland County, a place where Chesnutt, himself a light-skinned son of free-born North Carolinians, lived as a child and later taught at various country schools. Chesnutt writes: Pines, pines, pines, covered the low, rolling hills and lined the roadside—long- leaved pines, scarred with turpentine boxes; short-leaved pines of later growth, fit for nothing but a poor quality of cord-wood.

A scrubby blackjack undergrowth filled the space between the pines, except where it had been cleared away for easier access to turpentine boxes. The air was rich and heavy with the odor of the pines, and murmurous with their gentle swaying, and at times the cart moved noiselessly over a carpet of brown spikelets and fallen cones. In the hollows only, along the branches, the water-oak, small of leaf and dense of foliage, the honeysuckle, the fragrant bay-tree, the cypress—children of moisture—disputed place with one another in tangled profusion. North Carolina had long been a center for the naval-stores industry, its longleaf pines a valuable commodity for the state during the first half of the nineteenth century.

After the Civil War, northern investment and increased lumber production grew in the South, bringing much- needed income to the depressed region. By noting the precarious state of the pine forest in Mandy Oxendine, Chesnutt highlights a growing awareness among Americans at the end of the century that natural resources were limited and that conservation efforts were in the best economic interests of the public. Cutting a swath through the forests of Lafayatte County, the road runs north past the small community of Sandy Run through the pine forest.

Although all residents, regardless of race and class, frequent the Lumberton road, it is also a place where social conventions are held to strict standards. For example, while Mandy can flirt with her white suitor Robert Utley along the road, she cannot allow her- self to be seen conversing with Lowrey there. Thus, the forest is essential to the scaffolding of the story, in addition to the rural economy of the area. It is the lifeblood of this diverse rural community and is there- fore a source of admiration for the narrator, who also notes its aesthetic value. Chesnutt builds on these descriptions in an unexpected manner, however, when he associates qualities of this Edenic natural realm with his heroine.

She dwells within the woods, and they, in turn, are reflected in her unique personality. Her familial history, like that of the forest, is established as significant in the formation of her personality. In the novel, Mandy and Lowrey are said to have descended from this historically free population. In the same article, Chesnutt also high- lights the influence of Native American cultures, particularly the Cherokee and Tuscarora, in the racial makeup of this population. She is a matter-of-fact young woman, an ambitious pragmatist who does not mince words and who privileges social advancement over love.

Unlike the narrator, who celebrates the forest as both an aesthetic treasure and an economic resource worthy of careful consideration, Mandy views it more simply: as emblematic of the past from which she seeks escape. In distancing herself from her African American heritage, she also rejects the backwoods setting of her former home, as well as the natural elements within, thereby animalizing the mixed-race members of her former community.

Stowe has written? Thus, Chesnutt both draws upon and manipulates the tragic mulatta trope by not punishing Mandy for denouncing her imperceptible African American blood or for attempting to ascend socially by passing. Indeed, in The House Behind the Cedars, setting is also important to the thematic structure of the book, the cedars of the title taking on symbolic significance in their capac- ity to act as a shield from an outside world in which racial tensions run high and a white appearance does not negate prejudice. Ultimately, like in Mandy Oxendine, trees in this novel form a symbolic barrier, separating the light-skinned inhabitants from their darker neighbors and shielding Rena, a truly tragic mulatta, from the pain associated with the possibilities of passing and miscegenation.

Preliminary research of prison records in Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy State Archives indicates that convicts assigned to Clemson College ranged in age from 13 years old to 53 years old, with The Kkk Summarized In The 1920s being in their late Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy and twenties. In the Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy, he learned that committing violence against whites bolstered Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy sense of his manhood and Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy him want to live. Legislators designated the college as a land Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy institu- tion, in accordance with the one-per-state stipulations of the Morrill Act, which also provided federal lands and funding for the establishment of Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy education Mark Shaw Global Awakening Summary that Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy on agricultural and Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy instruction and research, and Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy training to provide citizens with practical skills that would enrich their Symbolism In Tretheweys Elegy, communities, and na- tion.

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