Wild, willful, and wicked: African American childhood and the nineteenth-century literary imagination

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paulette F. Brewington (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Karen Weyler

Abstract: This dissertation examines nineteenth-century depictions of African American children in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), Frank J. Webb's The Garies and Their Friends (1857), and Harriet E. Wilson's Our Nig (1859). It explores Stowe's characters as wild, willful, and unruly minstrel-inspired comic figures further exaggerated with nineteenth-century stereotypes such as: shiftlessness, ignorance heathenism, and demonism. Both novels of Webb and Wilson serve as respondents to Stowe's creations. Frank J. Webb presents industrious, educated children whose pranks are born out of self-possession. Wilson, on the other hand, illustrates that for the African American child in servitude in the free North, hardship and violence can rival that of the slave-holding South.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
African-American, Childhood, Nineteenth-century, Stowe, Webb, Wilson
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, $d 1811-1896. $t Uncle Tom's cabin
Webb, Frank J. $t The Garies and their friends.
Wilson, Harriet E., $d 1825-1900. $t Our nig.
African American children in literature

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