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Race(ing) into the Publishing Marketplace

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Abstract:

The interdisciplinary field of the history of the book offers numerous opportunities to explore “print paths from slavery to freedom” and African American perspectives on citizenship, identity, and race. A significant amount of scholarship has been produced on the impact the printed word has had on American political, social and literary culture, yet little attention has been given to black print culture and the African American publishing trade. For example, we know white colonial American printers like Benjamin Franklin and Isaiah Thomas consciously used their presses to create and support an enlightened citizenry requisite for a successful American revolution against Britain. Is there a correlation between the early American printer/publisher’s mission and that of the African American publisher at the turn of the twentieth century?

I plan to present research on the Colored Co-operative Publishing Company, a black owned firm, and the race writers promoted by the company, namely Pauline E. Hopkins. I will address how the Co-operative’s stated mission and publishing activities attempted to foster an enlightened and active African American citizenry while garnering white American support for a black revolution against Jim Crow oppression. I will also discuss how the publication of just one novel, Hopkins’s Contending Forces (1900), affected the Co-operative’s ability to sell magazine subscriptions and publish the work of other writers.
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Association:
Name: Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208468_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Knight, Alisha. "Race(ing) into the Publishing Marketplace" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Atlanta Hilton, Charlotte, NC, <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208468_index.html>

APA Citation:

Knight, A. "Race(ing) into the Publishing Marketplace" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Atlanta Hilton, Charlotte, NC <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208468_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: The interdisciplinary field of the history of the book offers numerous opportunities to explore “print paths from slavery to freedom” and African American perspectives on citizenship, identity, and race. A significant amount of scholarship has been produced on the impact the printed word has had on American political, social and literary culture, yet little attention has been given to black print culture and the African American publishing trade. For example, we know white colonial American printers like Benjamin Franklin and Isaiah Thomas consciously used their presses to create and support an enlightened citizenry requisite for a successful American revolution against Britain. Is there a correlation between the early American printer/publisher’s mission and that of the African American publisher at the turn of the twentieth century?

I plan to present research on the Colored Co-operative Publishing Company, a black owned firm, and the race writers promoted by the company, namely Pauline E. Hopkins. I will address how the Co-operative’s stated mission and publishing activities attempted to foster an enlightened and active African American citizenry while garnering white American support for a black revolution against Jim Crow oppression. I will also discuss how the publication of just one novel, Hopkins’s Contending Forces (1900), affected the Co-operative’s ability to sell magazine subscriptions and publish the work of other writers.

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