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Charles Wardell Chesnutt.pptx

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Charles Wardell Chesnutt.pptx

  1. 1. Charles Wardell Chesnutt 1858-1932
  2. 2. Backgound  Born in Cleveland, Ohio 20 June 1858 to free “persons of color”  Grandfather was a slave owner  Wrote about the complexities of mixed-race social status in the South  When he was 8, parents moved back to Fayettevile, NC  Began teaching in 1872  1880, principal of the Fayetteville State Normal School for Negroes  Returned to Cleveland 1883 and after passing state bar exam became a court reporter
  3. 3. Themes and Writing Style  Wrote so his work was not identified as African American  Themes  Myth of the “happy darky” on the plantation  The mixed-blood person  Interbreeding of different races natural progression, not shocking  Wrote to counter stories by Thomas Nelson Page, Joel Chandler Harris, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Frederick Douglas
  4. 4. Influence  Chesnutt “was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1928 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his pioneering literary work on behalf of the Afro- American struggle. Today Chesnutt is recognized as a major innovator in the tradition of Afro American fiction, an important contributor to the deromanticizing trend in post-Civil War southern literature and a singular voice among turn-of-the-century realists who treated the color line in American life” (William L. Andrews, “Charles Wardell Chesnutt 1858-1932,” Documenting the American South).

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