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Faith Barrett
Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0001)
Let Music Rise from Every Tongue: Reading and Writing Poetry in Antebellum African American Communities

Research leading a book on African-American poets in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Chapel Hill before the Civil War.

Let Music Rise from Every Tongue examines how African Americans used poetry to constitute community in the antebellum US. Focusing on literary circles in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Chapel Hill, I argue that African Americans found in poetry a means of articulating not only their political commitments, but also their affective experience: poetry thus plays a crucial role in establishing communities that are both political and social. With chapters focused on the poetry in friendship albums, the Black press, an anthology of New Orleans writers, and single-author collections by Frances Harper and Georges Moses Horton, my book contends that poetry was a central genre for African Americans because of the ways it brings together solitary and collective voices.

Project fields:
African American Studies; American Literature; Gender Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019