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From Slave Cabins to the White HouseHomemade Citizenship in African American Culture$
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Koritha Mitchell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043321

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043321.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

No, Really

No, Really

A Home of One’s Own

(p.63) Chapter 2 No, Really
From Slave Cabins to the White House

Koritha Mitchell

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Frances E. W. Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892) and Pauline Hopkins’s Contending Forces (1900), representative black domestic novels, the genre that 1980s and 1990s black feminism used to usher black women’s literature into the canon. Refusing to treat black domestic fiction as a response to black women’s exclusion from the cult of true womanhood, this chapter highlights the trope of homemade citizenship, which has been overlooked because readers assume artistic works either protest injustice or ignore the reasons for protest. Both novels revolve around racial uplift, and because they define it as collective practices of making-oneself-at-home, they highlight the importance of the community conversation to help black women claim their right to every aspect of success, including romantic love. [121 of 125 words]

Keywords:   Frances E. W. Harper, Pauline Hopkins, black women’s literature, black feminism, homemade citizenship, racial uplift, community conversation, black domestic novel

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