Harper acknowledged the complex inner workings of s

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reading audience." Harper acknowledged the complex inner workings of sbefore the slavery studies of the post-civil rights era argued that recognizwas essential. In Iola Leroy, Harper identified slaves "as participants in liberation" as "contrabands of war," the diversity within slave societies, adynamics that characterize the master/slave relationship." Harper's discuthough couched in a work of fiction, was revisionist in nature, yet sensihistorical objectivity or detachment. "Harper's portrayals of the enspopular opinion, manifesting vital, thriving voices of resistance. At the sadoes not romanticize the slaves to benefit a counter argument." IReconstruction, Harper also highlighted the significance of rebuilding African Americans in the South.22Frances Harper used history to help dictate a program for the group the "Talented Tenth." In the novel, protagonist Iola, who had been living until her adult years, immediately accepted her African heritage upon dismother was "a quadroon." During the Civil War and following em"Southern lady, whose education and manners stamped her as a woman ofgood breeding," devoted her life to the black masses of the South as a nuchurch worker, and an organizer of mother's meetings. For Iola, being a sof the race "is a far greater privilege than it is to open the gates of materfill every house to sensuous enjoyment." In response to Dr. Gresham's plonger serve her oppressed people and marry him, Iola passionately through their unrequited toil that I was educated, while they were comignorance. I am indebted to them for the power I have to serve them. I wiwomen felt as I do....I must serve the race which needs me most."23 Harmiddle-class, educated blacks owed a collective debt to black history, tostruggles waged by their enslaved ancestors. As Hazel Carby has observeother intellectuals and race leaders in Harper's "entertaining and instructtheir representativeness or typicality from an engagement with history.past in their individual histories and were presented as a historical farticulate the possibilities of the future of the race."24Like Harper, Pauline Hopkins also employed her writings in the struuplift. "In giving this little romance experience in print," Hopkins introdForces (1900), "I am not actuated by desire for notoriety or for profit, but tin a humble way to raise the stigma of degradation from my race."25 Durcentury and the early 1900s, Hopkins was one of black America's most pr245This content downloaded from 146.95.253.17 on Fri, 26 Jul 2019 04:26:45 UTCAll use subject to
JOURNAL OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY"The single most productive black woman writer at the turn of the century," from 1900 until1905 Hopkins produced for publication four novels (one in book form), seven short stories,one brief self-published historical booklet, A Primer of Facts Pertaining to the EarlyGreatness of the African Race and the Possibility of Restoration by Its Descendants-withEpilogue (1905), two dozen biographical sketches in the Colored American Magazine, and

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