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Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859)
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Wikipedia in English (1)
This seminal autobiographical novel, originally published in 1859, is believed to have been the first by an African-American woman. Harriet Wilson's compelling story describes the life of a mulatto girl who, after the death of her mother, is exploited first by a terrifying Northern family for whom she worked and then by an opportunistic husband. A classic of African-American literature, Our Nig has made an enduring contribution to understanding the lives of free blacks in the nineteenth century. A fascinating combination of slave narrative and sentimental novel, the story traces the hardships and suffering of Frado, who grows up as an indentured servant to a white family in Massachusetts and spends much of her destitute life wandering through New England. A clear and accurate account of race relations and perceptions of race in the antebellum North, Our Nig is essential reading for students of African-American history and culture.
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