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Published by the Author

Self-Publication in Nineteenth-Century African American Literature

Bryan Sinche

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 04/2027
Pages: 274
Subject: Literary Criticism, Social Science, Language Arts and Disciplines
Print ISBN: 9781469674124
eBook ISBN: 9781469674155


Publication is an act of power. It brings a piece of writing to the public and identifies its author as a person with an intellect and a voice that matters. Because nineteenth-century Black Americans knew that publication could empower them, and because they faced numerous challenges getting their writing into print or the literary market, many published their own books and pamphlets in order to garner social, political, or economic rewards. In doing so, these authors nurtured a tradition of creativity and critique that has remained largely hidden from view.

Bryan Sinche surveys the hidden history of African American self-publication and offers new ways to understand the significance of publication as a creative, reformist, and remunerative project. Full of surprising turns, Sinche's study is not simply a look at genre or a movement; it is a fundamental reassessment of how print culture allowed Black ideas and stories to be disseminated to a wider reading public and enabled authors to retain financial and editorial control over their own narratives.