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Neither Black Nor White Yet BothThematic Explorations of Interracial Literature$
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Werner Sollors

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195052824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195052824.001.0001

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Retellings: Mercenaries and Abolitionists

Retellings: Mercenaries and Abolitionists

(p.188) Chapter Seven Retellings: Mercenaries and Abolitionists
Neither Black Nor White Yet Both

Werner Sollors

Oxford University Press

Lydia Maria Child's “Joanna,” featured in 1834 in the Boston anti-slavery collection The Oasis, was an early proof of abolitionist storytelling, and it has been regarded as the female-written origin of miscegenation literature in the United States. The story may have discussed the issues that were to remain in the foreground of aesthetic representation for a long time, yet it was hardly an original story, and its references had little to do with women's antislavery literature of the United States, as it was lifted from the account of a British mercenary's expedition to the colony that the Dutch had received in return for letting New Amsterdam become New York. For the objectives of thematic investigation, this relation asks the question of “versions” and “subversions” of precursor texts.

Keywords:   Lydia Child, Joanna, The Oasis, abolitionist storytelling, United States, versions, subversions, New Amsterdam, New York

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