Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Edited Volumes

Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black

Edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman (NHC Fellow, 2003–04) and Reginald H. Pitts

African American History; American History; African American Literature; Freedmen; Slave Narratives; Novels; Autobiography; Women Authors; Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black; Harriet E. Wilson

New York: Penguin Books, 2005

From the publisher’s description:

First published in 1859, Our Nig is an autobiographical narrative that stands as one of the most important accounts of the life of a black woman in the antebellum North. In the story of Frado, a spirited black girl who is abused and overworked as the indentured servant to a New England family, Harriet E. Wilson tells a heartbreaking story about the resilience of the human spirit. This edition incorporates new research showing that Wilson was not only a pioneering African-American literary figure but also an entrepreneur in the black women’s hair care market fifty years before Madame C. J. Walker’s hair care empire made her the country’s first woman millionaire.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Literature / History / African American History / American History / African American Literature / Freedmen / Slave Narratives / Novels / Autobiography / Women Authors / Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black / Harriet E. Wilson /

Foreman, P. Gabrielle (NHC Fellow, 2003–04), ed. Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. Edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman and Reginald H. Pitts. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.