The Chronicle Review

A Contrarian View of the Black Literary Tradition

London Stereoscopic Company, Getty Images and Library of Congress

George Eliot and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
January 22, 2017 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Every culture wants a literature of its own, a canon of works that reflects something deep and unique about an imagined community larger than the individual.

In the 18th century, writers like Joseph Addison and Samuel Johnson sought to identify in...

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