Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation

By C. Peter Ripley; Roy E. Finkenbine et al. | Go to book overview
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The largest, most important collection of antebellum black documents is The Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865 ( Ann Arbor, Mich., 1979), 17 microfilm reels. Selected documents from the microfilm edition appear in C. Peter Ripley et al., eds., The Black Abolitionist Papers, 5 vols. ( Chapel Hill, N.C., 1985-92) (abbreviated throughout as BAP). For the Civil War and Reconstruction, see Ira Berlin et al., eds., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, 4 vols. to date ( Cambridge, Mass., 1982- ). The correspondence of many black abolitionists who had ties with the American Missionary Association is on microfilm and accessible through the Amistad Research Center's helpful guide, Author and Added Entry Catalog of the American Missionary Association, 3 vols. (Westport, Conn., 1970). Frederick Douglass's speeches and writings appear in John W. Blassingame, ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers, 3 vols. to date ( New Haven, Conn., 1979- ), and Philip S. Foner, ed., The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, 5 vols. ( New York, N.Y., 1950-75).

The pioneering African American historian Carter G. Woodson has edited two anthologies of African American documents: Negro Orators and Their Orations ( New York, N.Y., 1925) and The Mind of the Negro ( Washington, D.C., 1926). Other collections of African American writings include Dorothy Porter, ed., Early Negro Writing, 1760-1837 ( Boston, Mass., 1971) and Negro Protest Pamphlets ( New York, N. Y., 1969), and Herbert Aptheker, A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States ( New York, N.Y., 1951). The writings and speeches of several African American women are highlighted in Dorothy Sterling, ed., We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century ( New York, N.Y., 1984). Recent editions of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper 's works include Maryemma Graham, ed., Complete Poems of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper ( New York, N.Y., 1988), and Frances Smith Foster, ed., A Brighter Day Coming: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader ( New York, N.Y., 1990).

Biographical sketches and other information can be gleaned from the works of two African American abolitionists: William C. Nell, Colored Patriots of the American Revolution ( Boston, Mass., 1855), and Martin R. Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the UnitedStates


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