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Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century$
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Nazera Sadiq Wright

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040573

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040573.001.0001

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Toward a Genealogy of Black Girlhood

(p.1) Introduction
Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century

Nazera Sadiq Wright

University of Illinois Press

This book analyzes writing about black girls in the nineteenth and very early twentieth centuries. It asks why black writers of the period conveyed racial inequality, poverty, and discrimination through the lens of black girlhood; why black writers and activists emphasized certain types of girls; what tropes can be identified in the early literature of black girlhood; and where these girlhood tropes originated. The book draws on sources from some of the earliest black newspapers and on fiction, including the newspaper advice columns of Gertrude Bustill Mossell, Frances E. W. Harper's novel Trial and Triumph, and conduct books for black children. It thus unveils the possibilities for disciplinary intersections between African American literature, print culture, and black girlhood studies. The texts it examines reveal what it refers to as a genealogy of black girlhood.

Keywords:   black girls, racial inequality, poverty, discrimination, black girlhood, Gertrude Bustill Mossell, Frances E. W. Harper, Trial and Triumph, conduct books, African American literature

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