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Praise for Voices Beyond Bondage

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This well-wrought and powerful anthology of poems reminds us of the richness and variety of African American culture. Published during slavery and the years after emancipation, from 1827 to 1899, these poems reflect a tumultuous time in American history. Quite apart from the literary significance of the poems themselves, this carefully curated volume provides an extraordinary contribution to historical understanding.
Voices Beyond Bondage reveals a mostly unacknowledged 19th-century literary movement and gives readers a fresh perspective on African American poets from the antebellum and postbellum periods. The anthology will be valued as a rich resource for libraries, students, and scholars of both literature and history.
A fascinating collection that effectively accomplishes what its editors, DeSimone and Louis, set out to do, which is to reclaim these voices, temporarily lost in old files and microfiche, and to share "a more complex understanding of African American history -- and American history as a whole -- and provide insight into the literary, cultural, and political movements of these troubling years."
Voices Beyond Bondage kindles the voice of those who have been all but overlooked in American literature, and presents for lovers of poetry and scholars of the African-American experience alike a new literary territory waiting to be explored
Voices Beyond Bondage is a scrupulously researched and edited collections of poems from 19th-century black-owned presses that brings back to life a grassroots literary movement forgotten in time. The anthology provides what editors DeSimone and Louis call 'a different, more nuanced view of African-American history,' countering stereotypes of blacks as illiterate and inferior.
DeSimone and Louis' work expands the field of black poetry, disproves the myth that 19th-century African Americans were illiterate or uneducated, and should be a welcome addition to any historian or poetry lover's library.
The diverse array of subject matter and the emotional range of the poems are anything but conventional and point to the rich cultural, political and inner lives both of those who suffered under the bonds of slavery and those who won their freedom.
Voices Beyond Bondage covers the gamut of African-American poetry from 1827 to 1899. The most powerful are the poems about the cruelty and desperation of life in bondage. DeSimone and Louis' work expands the field of black poetry, disproves the myth that 19th-century African-Americans were illiterate or uneducated, and should be a welcome addition to any historian or poetry lover's library.