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Book Title: Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 637 KB
v The author of the book: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Edition: Neeland Media LLC
Date of issue: July 1st 2004
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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Read full description of the books Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted:First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America.
Through her fascinating characters-including Iola's brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment-Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation's literature.
Read information about the authorBorn to free parents in Baltimore, Maryland. After her mother died when she was three years old in 1828, Watkins was orphaned. She was raised by her aunt and uncle. She was educated at the Academy for Negro Youth, a school run by her uncle Rev. William Watkins, who was a civil rights activist. He was a major influence on her life and work. At fourteen, she found work as a seamstress.
Frances Watkins had her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, published in 1845 (it has been lost). Her second book, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects, published in 1854, was extremely popular. Over the next few years, it was reprinted in 20 editions. Many African American women's service clubs named themselves in her honor, and across the nation, in cities such as St. Louis, St. Paul, and Pittsburgh, F. E. W. Harper Leagues and Frances E. Harper Women's Christian Temperance Unions thrived well into the twentieth century.
In 1850, Watkins moved to Ohio, where she worked as the first woman teacher at Union Seminary, established by the Ohio Conference of the AME Church. (Union closed in 1863 when the AME Church diverted its funds to purchase Wilberforce University.) The school in Wilberforce was run by the Rev. John Brown (not the same as the abolitionist). In 1853, Watkins joined the American Anti-Slavery Society and became a traveling lecturer for the group. In 1854, Watkins delivered her first anti-slavery speech on “Education and the Elevation of Colored Race”. The success of this speech resulted a two-year lecture tour in Maine for the Anti-Slavery Society. She traveled, lecturing throughout the East and Midwest from 1856 to 1860. In 1859, her story “The Two Offers” was published in the Anglo-African Magazine, a great accomplishment as it became the first short story to ever be published by an African American.
In 1860, she married Fenton Harper, a widower with three children. They had a daughter together in 1862. For a time Frances withdrew from the lecture circuit. However, after her husband Fenton died in 1864, Watkins returned to her travels and lecturing.
Frances Harper was a strong supporter of prohibition and woman's suffrage. She was also active in the Unitarian Church, which supported abolition. She often would read her poetry at the public meetings, including the extremely popular Bury Me in a Free Land. She was connected with national leaders in suffrage, and in 1866 gave a moving speech before the National Women's Rights Convention, demanding equal rights for all, including black women. Watkins was very involved in black organizations. From 1883 to 1890, she helped organize activities for the National Woman’s Christian temperance Union.
She also continued with her writing and continued to publish poetry. In 1892 she published Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted. One of the first novels by an African-American woman, it sold well and was reviewed widely.
Harper continued with her political activism. She helped organize the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, and was later elected vice president in 1897.
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