Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African-American Travel Writing



Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African-American Travel Writing

This edition

"A Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African-American Travel Writing". Ed. Farah J. Griffin and Cheryl J. Fish. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998. xvii+366 pp.

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Table of contents

Adventurers -- Missionaries and activists of the nineteenth century -- Africa -- France -- Russia -- Truth seekers: statesmen, scholars and journalists (from 1930 to the civil rights era) -- Visitors, tourists, and others.; Adventurers. 1856 from The life and adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout and Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians / James P. Beckwourth -- 1857 from Wonderful adventures of Mrs. Seacole in many lands / Mary Seacole -- 1907 from The life and adventures of Nat Love / Nat Love -- 1871 from Nellie Brown, or The jealous wife with other sketches / Thomas Detter -- 1929 from Pedro Gorino / Harry Dean -- 1908 from A negro explorer at the North Pole / Matthew A. Henson -- Missionaries and activists of the nineteenth century. 1824 "Letter to the editor" / Thomas Paul, Sr. -- 1846 from Memoirs of the life, religious experience, ministerial travels and labours of Mrs. Zilpha Elaw / Zilpha Elaw -- 1853 from A narrative of the life and travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince / Nancy Prince -- 1893 from An autobiography: the story of the Lord's dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the colored evangelist / Amanda Berry Smith -- 1913 from Reminiscences of school life, and hints on teaching / Fanny Jackson Coppin -- Africa. 1812 from A brief account of the settlement and present situation of the colony of Sierra Leone, in Africa / Paul Cuffe -- 1861 from Official report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party / Martin R. Delany -- 1859 from A pilgrimage to my motherland / Robert Campbell -- 1860 from The relations and duties of free colored men in America to Africa / Alexander Crummell -- 1873 from From West Africa to Palestine / Edward Wilmot Blyden -- 1924 "Little portraits of Africa" from The Crisis / W.E.B. Du Bois -- 1954 from Black power: a record of reactions in a land of pathos / Richard Wright -- 1970 from The rise and fall of the proper negro / Leslie Alexander Lacy -- 1974 from West African travels / Sylvia Ardyn Boone -- France. 1855 from American fugitive in Europe: sketches of places and people abroad / William Wells Brown -- 1925 from The diaries of Gwendolyn Bennett / Gwendolyn Bennett -- 1925 "Yarrow revisited" from The Crisis / Jessie Redmon Fauset -- 1961 "What Paris means to me" from Negro Digest / Hazel Scott -- 1929 "Countee Cullen on French courtesy" from The Crisis / Countee Cullen -- 1955 "Encounters on the Seine: black meets brown" from Notes of a Native Son / James Baldwin -- Russia.1853 from A narrative of the life and travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince / Nancy Prince -- 1923 "Soviet Russia and the Negro" from The Crisis / Claude McKay -- 1934 "Going south in Russia" from The Crisis / Langston Hughes -- 1984 "Notes from a trip to Russia" from Sister outsider: essays and speeches / Audre Lorde -- 1978 from Black Bolshevik / Harry Haywood -- 1981 from Russian Journals / Andrea Lee -- Truth seekers: statesmen, scholars and journalists (from 1930 to the civil rights era). 1912 "Naples and the land of the emigrant" from The man farthest down / Booker T. Washington -- 1974 from Angela Davis: an autobiography / Angela Davis -- 1933 "My trip to Cuba in quest of negro books" from Opportunity / Arthur A. Schomburg -- 1969 from Island Possessed / Katherine Dunham -- 1937 from An African American in South Africa / Ralph J. Bunche -- 1959 "My trip to the land of Gandhi" from Ebony / Martin Luther King, Jr. -- 1956 "A colored brother lost" from The pitfall and the proud / Carl T. Rowan -- Visitors, tourists, and others. 1972 "African fragment" from Report from part one / Gwendolyn Brooks -- 1930 "How far from here to Mexico?" from The Crisis / Sue Bailey Thurman -- 1970 "The city" from The Bern book: a record of the voyage of the mind / Vincent Carter -- 1989 "Report from the Bahamas" from Moving towards home: political essays / June Jordan -- 1982 "Excerpts from a Dakar Diary" from Sage / Florence Cawthorne Ladd -- 1996 "How she came by her name" from Deep sightings and rescue missions: fiction, essays, and conversations / Toni Cade Bambara -- 1998 "All it took was a road/Unexpected surprises of urban renewal" from If I can cook/You know God can / Ntozake Shange -- 1997 "No stops until Darwin" from A long way from St. Louie / Colleen McElroy -- Bibliography -- Acknowledgments -- Credits.

Publisher's description

"Dispatches, diaries, memoirs, and letters by African-American travelers in search of home, justice, and adventure-from the Wild West to Australia" (from publisher's website).

Reviews and notices of anthology

● Johnson, Scott. "Library Journal" 123.8 (1998): 128.
The anthology is "divided into seven sections, each richly introduced," and covers the period from 1824 to 1997. "An index . . . would have been helpful for finding events, locations, and topics."
● "Publishers Weekly" 4 May 1998: 199.
"Of special interest are Robert Campbell's 1859 analysis of African slavery, Martin Luther King Jr.'s impressions of India and poet June Jordan's visit to the Bahamas, where she encountered the exploitation of the black staff at the hotel where she stayed."

See also

Rowell, Charles H. "An Interview with Farah Jasmine Griffin." "Callaloo" 22.4 (1999): 872-92. JSTOR.
In this interview, Griffin speaks of her "desire to provide complex portraits of the richness and diversity of black history, life, culture and language" (874) and, speaking specifically of this anthology, she says: "'Stranger in the Village' is a book I co-edited with Cheryl Fish. Cheryl's work is on 19th-century women's travel writing and mine had been on black migration within the United States. We were both interested in questions of travel, of the movement of African Americans outside the United States. I was interested in the kinds of things that motivated black Americans to travel outside the United States, especially given the circumstances under which we live here. How much of an 'American' and/or 'Western' identity did they take with them? How did their experiences in foreign places impact their understandings of American society and their place in it? Did they identify with oppressed people of other nations? Did they act as oppressors? What prejudices did they bring with them? I was also interested in locations where generations of black Americans traveled and settled. How did their perceptions of Paris or Moscow or Accra change over time as these places changed? In some instances I wanted to see how they responded to discovering black people/dark people in the Soviet Union or in Australia. I think the selections in this text . . . complicate and complement the paradigms that have guided our study of black literature. They continue to demonstrate the quest for freedom identified by Robert Stepto; yet in these contexts some of the things we look for—a relationship to oral culture or Southern culture—aren't as apparent in these writings. We also see how different the writers are—some are politically radical, others conservative, and others barely political at all. Again, it helps to complicate received notions of black life and experience in the United States" (873).

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Always Elsewhere: Travels of the Black Atlantic See also Bibliographic Resource