The 1780s and 1790s were a critical era for communities of colour in the new United States of America. Even Thomas Jefferson observed that in the aftermath of the American Revolution, 'the spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust.' This book explores the means by which the very first Black and Indian authors rose up to transform their communities and the course of American literary history. It argues that the origins of modern African-American and American Indian literatures emerged at the revolutionary crossroads of religion and racial formation as early Black and Indian authors reinvented American evangelicalism and created new postslavery communities, new categories of racial identification, and new literary traditions.
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