71 – ‘I am black, I am black’

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Hope End and anti-slavery poetry

In 1847 The Liberty Bell, a Boston Anti-slavery annual, published Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point, one of the most powerful, shocking poems in the long and distinguished tradition of anti-slavery verse.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning came from a major slaveholding family—the large Barrett holdings in Jamaica paid for ‘Hope End’.

Cora Kaplan’s talk explores the complex political and poetic legacies of British slave-ownership through this astonishing poem by one of the nineteenth century’s greatest poets.

Introduced by Ursula Owen

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