With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women



With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women

This edition

"With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women." Ed. Shirley Wilson Logan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1995. xviii+169 pp.

Online access

Table of contents

• Introduction: Mounting the Platform
• Nineteenth-Century African-American Women: A Rhetorical Timeline
• Maria W. Stewart (1803-1879) / Lecture Delivered at the Franklin Hall (1832)
• Maria W. Stewart / An Address Delivered Before the Afric-American Female Intelligence Society of Boston (1832)
• Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1883) / Speech Delivered to the Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio (1851) [Gage Version]
• Sojourner Truth / Speech Delivered to the Woman's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio (1851) [Campbell Version]
• Sojourner Truth / Speech Delivered to the First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association (May 9, 1867)
• Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) / "Duty to Dependent Races" (1891)
• Frances Ellen Watkins Harper / "Woman's Political Future" (1893)
• Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858-1964) / "Womanhood a Vital Element in the Regeneration and Progress of a Race" (1886)
• Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) / "Lynch Law in All Its Phases" (1893)
• Fannie Barrier Williams (1855-1944) / "The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation" (1893)
• Victoria Earle Matthews (1861-1907) / "The Value of Race Literature: An Address Delivered at the First Congress of Colored Women of the United States" (1895)
• Victoria Earle Matthews / "The Awakening of the Afro-American Woman" (1897)
• References
• Index

About the anthology

• Presents 12 speeches by 7 nineteenth-century African American women. Includes extended headnotes (introductory essays) on each speaker included in the anthology and annotations on the texts included.
• Publisher's description: "Here—in the only collection of speeches by nineteenth-century African-American women—is the battle of words these brave women waged to address the social ills of their century. While there have been some scattered references to the unique roles these early "race women" played in effecting social change, until now few scholars have considered the rhetorical strategies they adopted to develop their powerful arguments.

"In this chronological anthology, Shirley Wilson Logan highlights the public addresses of these women, beginning with Maria W. Stewart’s speech at Franklin Hall in 1832, believed to be the first delivered to an audience of men and women by an American-born woman. In her speech, she focused on the plight of the Northern free black. Sojourner Truth spoke in 1851 at the Akron, Ohio, Women’s Rights Convention not only for the rights of black women but also for the rights of all oppressed nineteenth-century women. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper struggled with the conflict between universal suffrage and suffrage for black men. Anna Julia Cooper chastised her unique audience of black Episcopalian clergy for their failure to continue the tradition of the elevation of womanhood initiated by Christianity and especially for their failure to support the struggling Southern black woman. Ida B. Wells’s rhetoric targeted mob violence directed at Southern black men. Her speech was delivered less than a year after her inaugural lecture on this issue—following a personal encounter with mob violence in Memphis. Fannie Barrier Williams and Victoria Earle Matthews advocated social and educational reforms to improve the plight of Southern black women. These speeches—all delivered between 1832 and 1895—are stirring proof that, despite obstacles of race and gender, these women still had the courage to mount the platform in defense of the oppressed.

"Introductory essays focus on each speaker’s life and rhetoric, considering the ways in which these women selected evidence and adapted language to particular occasions, purposes, and audiences in order to persuade. This analysis of the rhetorical contexts and major rhetorical tactics in the speeches aids understanding of both the speeches and the skill of the speakers. A rhetorical timeline serves as a point of reference.

"Historically grounded, this book provides a black feminist perspective on significant events of the nineteenth century and reveals how black women of that era influenced and were influenced by the social problems they addressed."
• Logan emphasizes the contrast between the original oral delivery of these speeches and their subsequent representation in print: "A speech is an oral event. Since the text of a speech is not its performance, the printed version can only, at best, approximate what was actually said on each occasion. . . . Notions about revisions prior to delivery and after publication of these speeches must be essentially speculative, for their authors left no paper trail" (xv-xvi).
• Logan notes her conservative editorial intervention in these texts: "I have limited editorial intervention to identifying notes and bracketed clarifications of sentences, words, or abbreviations, designed to make the speeches more accessible to modern readers. Titles of books, pamphlets, and newspapers have been italicized consistently within a speech. For the most part, original spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphing have been retained" (xvi).

Reviews and notices of anthology

• n/a

See also

• Robbins and Gates, ed. "The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers" (2017).

Cited in

• [not in Kinnamon 1997]

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Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers See also Bibliographic Resource