JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Fall 2014) come to personify his public image. We have thus gravely misunderstood the extent to which the classics cultivated much of the great orator's understanding of manhood, heroism, right, government, and slavery. Hairston meticulously demonstrates how Anna Julia Cooper's A Voice from the South (1892) and W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk (1893) relied heavily on classical references and how they discoursed with and through the Western classical tradition. In these post-Civil War cases, Hairston once more uncovers how wrong scholars have been in not appreciating the role of the classics when interpreting major American texts. Without recognizing writers' classical backgrounds and their depth of allusions, scholars are in danger of misconstruing major contemporary cultural processes and transformations. There is much to say in favor of The Ebony Column. This erudite, original, and polemical study provides a powerful corrective to our past understanding of the reception of the classics in America. By uncovering important aspects of black classicism that have been persistently overlooked, Hairston sheds new light on the thought and writing of four major American figures. If the underlying assumption before the appearance of The Ebony Column
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Aug 12, 2014
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