• "The Land of Liberty": Henry Bibb's Free Soil Geographies

    Author(s):
    James S. Finley (see profile)
    Date:
    2013
    Subject(s):
    African American literature, American studies, Environmental history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Free Soil, Abolition of Slavery, Ecocriticism
    Permanent URL:
    https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:14661/
    Abstract:
    This essay situates "The Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave" within the political context of the antislavery Free Soil movement, arguing that Bibb's representations of land and labor reflect the concerns of Free Soil. In particular, it argues that Bibb's narrative simultaneously critiques Free Soil ideology for its lack of a full-throated call for immediate abolition and its privileging of the white working class over both free and enslaved Black people. In addition, these aspects of Bibb’s Free Soil critique— both in condemning slavery and in reflexively challenging elements of Free Soil ideology—are more ecological than established Free Soil discourse, reflecting a deeper, more sensitive, and more radical understanding of material interconnection in regards to bodies, means of production, and topographies.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Pub. DOI:
    10.1353/esq.2013.0021
    Journal:
    ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance
    Volume:
    59
    Start Page:
    231
    End Page:
    261
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 weeks ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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