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Puttin' On Ole Massa: The Slave Narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, and Solomon Northup
Puttin' On Ole Massa The Slave Narratives of Henry Bibb William Wells Brown and Solomon Northup Author:Gilbert Osofsky (Editor) 'Narratives' are literally tales of bondage and freedom written or told by former slaves. — what is especially striking about the narrative literature is the uniformity of themes discussed by different slaves, on different plantations, at different times in history, and in different states. Most of our present historical accounts of slavery exclu... more »de or underestimate the significance of these themes. Our histories are basically written from the surviving manuscript records of slaveholders and thus generally reflect the concerns and biases of the master caste. The narratives, at the very least, offer a different point of view - a point of view which must be recognized before any balanced account of the history of slavery in the United States is ever written. They contain the most detailed accounts that exist of slavery as some slaves saw it. As such these books should be considered and measured with great care.
Northup, Brown, and Bibb, as their autobiographies demonstrate, were men of wisdom and talent. Each was certainly capable of writing his life story with sophistication. These three books are prime examples of slave-narrative literature in its most discerning form.« less