Cover, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

I have incurred a number of debts in writing this book. In its early stages, I had the good fortune of working with—and being encouraged and inspired by—Nina Baym, Robert Dale Parker, and Janet Lyon at the University of Illinois. I was privileged to work with Karen Offen, Marilyn Boxer, ...

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Introduction: The Motherless Child in the Post-Reconstruction United States

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pp. 1-33

In her final novel, Of One Blood; or, The Hidden Self, serialized in the Colored American Magazine from 1903 to 1904, Pauline Hopkins’s protagonist, Reuel Briggs, a mixed-race man passing for white, serves as the doctor for an archaeological expedition in Africa. While there, he discovers that he is heir to the throne of Meroe in Ethiopia, ...

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Chapter One: "The blessed relief of tears”: Maternal Redemption in Contending Forces

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pp. 34-65

In her preface to Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South, Hopkins describes her first novel as a “somewhat abrupt and daring venture”—a surprising claim, given her history in the public arena as an actress, singer, and playwright. Although she began writing fiction almost immediately after her stage career, ...

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Chapter Two: Motherlessness in the Nation’s Capital: The National Father in Hagar’s Daughter

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pp. 66-94

After the optimistic conclusion of Contending Forces, Hagar’s Daughter comes as something of a surprise. Here, amid the novel’s spectacular content—including murder, abduction, disguises, a haunted mansion, a daring escape, and a dramatic courtroom climax—Pauline Hopkins offers a scathing critique of a nation ...

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Chapter Three: “Somethin’s gwine happen”: National Warning in Winona

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pp. 95-130

From the nation’s capital, Pauline Hopkins moves to another site crucial to the nation’s mythos and to the construction of American identity: the frontier. Hopkins may have begun to form her ideas about the possibilities of the West as she wrote Hagar’s Daughter, where the West figured—albeit marginally—as a place of renewal ...

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Chapter Four: Finding Mother Africa: Of One Blood and Hopkins’s National Vision

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pp. 131-156

In Hagar’s Daughter, when the title character discovers that the child she thought she had lost is alive, she pleads with her husband: “I beseech you, lose not a moment, bring her to me—bring my Jewel, my daughter, to my arms” (279). Of One Blood; or, The Hidden Self similarly imagines a mother longing for her children, ...

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Coda

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pp. 157-164

The haunting, melancholy quality of this song spoke powerfully to its intended audience of African American slaves in the antebellum period, and it has continued to speak to a broad range of listeners in the twentyfirst century. It has been recorded by such diverse artists as Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Ike and Tina Turner, ...

Notes

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pp. 165-180

Bibliography

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pp. 181-192

Index

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pp. 193-206