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"The design of this Memoir is, to present the incidents in the life of a little coloured boy". So begins the life of James Jackson, as set down by his African American teacher, Susan Paul, in 1835, as an example to other children and adults who might learn from the boy's goodness. This document - the first African American biography and a work predates Harriet Jacobs's "Incidents in the life of a slave girl" by almost 30 years - is a lost treasure from the annals of African American history. With its combination of eyewitness accounts, personal testimony, and excerpts from traditional Sunday school texts, the memoir is an extraordinary social history noted in both 19th century evangelicalism and the experiences of free African Americans. The author's portrayal of James Jackson's Christian sensibility, his idealism, and his racial awareness emphasises his humanity and exemplary American character over his racial identity, even as it embeds him in his African American community.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674002371
ISBN-10: 0674002377
Format: Paperback
(190mm x 127mm x 14mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Susan Paul

Lois Brown is Assistant Professor of English, Mount Holyoke College.