Co-authorship in A narrative of the uncommon sufferings and surprizing deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro man

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

"A Negro Man, Servant to--General Winslow" travels from Boston to Jamaica, Florida, Cuba, and London within a thirteen-year time frame. In the captivity narrative A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man, Briton Hammon experiences many hardships during his various captivities. His is a unique experience in the captivity genre, but is critiqued because of the manner in which this narrative is produced. He did not write it himself so it widely argued that this white genre can claim a black author but not the authority of that author's experience. In the book, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B Du Bois portrays a two-sided man that has his own perspective, yet sees himself through others' eyes. He describes it as "two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body" (Du Bois). His aim is to explain the relationship between being an American and a Negro without a sole definition from the white perspective. This is my aim in my analysis of this text. This point of this research is to reclaim Hammon's authorship and therefore some of his authority. Hammon's voice constitutes the two souls and the two thoughts. I will examine the narrative in four sections: The title page and preface, the encounter with Indians, the imprisonment in Spanish Cuba, and his journey home.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Women's studies, African American studies