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Blake Or, the Huts of America

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Blake, or the Huts of America (1859-1862) is a novel by Martin Delany. Serialized in The Anglo-African Magazine, the novel has had a complicated publishing history due to the loss of the physical issues in which the final chapters appeared in May 1862. Despite this, Blake, or the Huts of America is considered a brilliantly unique work of fiction from an author known more for his activism and political investment in black nationalism. Through the eyes of his hero Henry Blake, Delany envisions a future of revolutionary possibility and radical resistance to slavery and oppression. Though it was largely ignored upon publication, the novel gained traction with the Black Power and Pan-Africanist Movements in the twentieth century and has earned praise from such scholars as Samuel R. Delany, who described it as "about as close to an sf-style alternate history novel as you can get." Born free, Henry Blake is stolen into slavery from his family in the West Indies and taken to the Mississippi plantation of Colonel Stephen Franks. There, he marries Maggie, a fellow slave who happens to be the illegitimate daughter of Franks himself. When Maggie is sold away following a dispute with the master and his wife, Henry vows not only to find her, but to lead every last slave to freedom. He soon escapes, journeying in secret across the American South and interviewing enslaved African Americans along his way, learning the strategies of resistance and struggle they use every day for survival. As his reputation grows, Blake begins to organize a small uprising intended as only the first step of his radical revolutionary plan. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Martin Delany's Blake, or the Huts of America is a classic work of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.

ISBN-13: 9781513296852

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Mint Editions

Publication Date: 06-01-2021

Pages: 170

Product Dimensions: 4.90h x 7.80w x 0.50d

Series: Mint Editions--Black Narratives

Delany, Martin R.: -

Martin Delany (1812-1885) was an abolitionist, writer, soldier, physician, and black nationalist. Born free in Virginia, Delany was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he became a physician's assistant and worked tirelessly during the cholera epidemic of 1833. Admitted to Harvard Medical School in 1850, Delany was dismissed after protests by white students threatened his life. After traveling to the South in 1839 to witness the conditions experienced by slaves for the first time, Delany moved to Rochester, New York to work with Frederick Douglass on his abolitionist newspaper The North Star. After a brief visit to Liberia and several years in Canada, Delany returned to the United States at the onset of the Civil War, eventually working as a recruiter for the United States Colored Troops and serving as the first African American field grade officer in the Army. During Reconstruction, he moved to South Carolina, where he worked for the Freedmen's Bureau and dedicated himself to activism and politics. Delany was also a prolific pamphleteer, journalist, and novelist whose book Blake, or the Huts of America (1859-1862) is considered a pioneering work of black nationalist fiction. Towards the end of his life, Delany devoted himself to the Liberia Exodus Joint Stock Steamship Company, an expedition he envisioned as a response to the growing violence and voter suppression faced by African Americans following the withdrawal of federal troops from the South in 1877. In his final years, Delany returned to his work as a physician, supplementing his wife's income as a seamstress in order to pay for their children to attend Wilberforce College in Ohio.