Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted

Iola Leroy or Shadows Uplifted First published in this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend s

  • Title: Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted
  • Author: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrFirst published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America.Through her fascinating characters including Iola s brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation s literature.

    Iola Leroy Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted , is the story of Iola Leroy, a beautiful young mixed race woman of majority white ancestry in the antebellum years Born free in Mississippi, she and her brother Harry are the children of a wealthy white planter and his mixed race wife, a former slave whom he freed and married before the American Civil War. Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted Dover Books Iola Leroy is one of the very first novels written by an African American, Frances Harper The protagonist, Iola, is a mixed race American, who, after discovering she has black ancestry, is sold into slavery After the American Civil War, Iola and friends become activists for the black community. Iola Leroy, Or, Shadows Uplifted Frances Ellen Watkins Her novel, Iola Leroy , depicts a slave family s effort to reunite after emancipation It was the first work to chronicle the Reconstruction South from an African American point of view. Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted Dover Publications The daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter, Iola Leroy led a life of comfort and privilege, never guessing at her mixed race ancestry until her father died and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Iola Leroy, or The field hospital was needing gentle, womanly ministrations, and Iola Leroy, released from the hands of her tormentors, was given a place as nurse a position to Iola Leroy Background GradeSaver Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted essays are academic essays for citation These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Iola Leroy by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Non Traditionally Tragic Mulattas Defying Notions of Denial and Self Hate Iola Leroy Shadows Uplifted by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted is one of the first novels published by an African American wo Before the Civil War she was a public speaker and political activist in the Abolitionist Movement and helped escaping slaves along the Underground Railroad. SparkNotes Iola Leroy Plot Overview Iola Leroy, a slave with a white complexion and blue eyes, is held captive by the abusive Master Tom Tom Anderson arranges for the Union army to rescue Iola Exiled from family and home, Iola becomes a nurse in the army. Iola Leroy Broadview Press Koritha Mitchell s new cultural edition of Harper s fourth novel, Iola Leroy Or, Shadows of Uplift first published in , provides a compelling new entry in this tradition and an indispensable resource for those who assign Harper regularly or who have hesitated to teach Iola out of concern for the syllabus space required to get students up to speed on its historical and cultural contexts. Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted britannica Harper s Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted attempted to counter specious notions of slavery popularized by white writers who idealized plantation life, while offering models of socially committed middle class African Americans who exemplify the ideals of uplift that motivated much of Harper s writing.

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    About "Frances Ellen Watkins Harper"

    1. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

      Born to free parents in Balti, Maryland After her mother died when she was three years old in 1828, Watkins was orphaned She was raised by her aunt and uncle She was educated at the Academy for Negro Youth, a school run by her uncle Rev William Watkins, who was a civil rights activist He was a major influence on her life and work At fourteen, she found work as a seamstress.Frances Watkins had her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, published in 1845 it has been lost Her second book, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects, published in 1854, was extremely popular Over the next few years, it was reprinted in 20 editions Many African American women s service clubs named themselves in her honor, and across the nation, in cities such as St Louis, St Paul, and Pittsburgh, F E W Harper Leagues and Frances E Harper Women s Christian Temperance Unions thrived well into the twentieth century.In 1850, Watkins moved to Ohio, where she worked as the first woman teacher at Union Seminary, established by the Ohio Conference of the AME Church Union closed in 1863 when the AME Church diverted its funds to purchase Wilberforce University The school in Wilberforce was run by the Rev John Brown not the same as the abolitionist In 1853, Watkins joined the American Anti Slavery Society and became a traveling lecturer for the group In 1854, Watkins delivered her first anti slavery speech on Education and the Elevation of Colored Race The success of this speech resulted a two year lecture tour in Maine for the Anti Slavery Society She traveled, lecturing throughout the East and Midwest from 1856 to 1860 In 1859, her story The Two Offers was published in the Anglo African Magazine, a great accomplishment as it became the first short story to ever be published by an African American.In 1860, she married Fenton Harper, a widower with three children They had a daughter together in 1862 For a time Frances withdrew from the lecture circuit However, after her husband Fenton died in 1864, Watkins returned to her travels and lecturing.Frances Harper was a strong supporter of prohibition and woman s suffrage She was also active in the Unitarian Church, which supported abolition She often would read her poetry at the public meetings, including the extremely popular Bury Me in a Free Land She was connected with national leaders in suffrage, and in 1866 gave a moving speech before the National Women s Rights Convention, demanding equal rights for all, including black women Watkins was very involved in black organizations From 1883 to 1890, she helped organize activities for the National Woman s Christian temperance Union.She also continued with her writing and continued to publish poetry In 1892 she published Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted One of the first novels by an African American woman, it sold well and was reviewed widely.Harper continued with her political activism She helped organize the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, and was later elected vice president in 1897.

    130 thoughts on “Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted”

    1. Pretty awkward with its narrative elements; much more a novel of ideas. I recommend it since it testifies to the marriage of nineteenth century morality with progressive ideals of racial justice. "Caste plays such fantastic tricks on this country," says one character - and the novel does a good job of highlighting this. Even more intriguing is the novel's moral certitude alongside a sneaky skepticism of some of its heroes. It critiques white liberals and has a feminist undercurrent.


    2. '"No, no," said Leroy, tenderly, "it is not that I regret our marriage, or feel the least disdain for our children on account of the blood in their veins; but I do not wish them to grow up under the contracting influence of this race prejudice. I do not wish them to feel that they have been born under a proscription from which no valor can redeem them, nor that any social advancement or individual development can wipe off the ban which clings to them. No, Marie, let them go North, learn all they [...]


    3. Frances Watkins Harper was born free in 1825 in Baltimore and was 67 years old when Iola Leroy was published. Before the Civil War she was a public speaker and political activist in the Abolitionist Movement and helped escaping slaves along the Underground Railroad. After the war she travelled the South speaking out for temperance, and the rights of women and African Americans, and other social causes. Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted is one of the first novels published by an African-American wo [...]


    4. I'm halfway through, and I'm not sure one could, if one really tried, write more dreadfully. To get close, one would have to mimic the styles of Danielle Steele and Robert Ludlum, overlay it with the worst sentimentality of the past three hundred years, and then weld it all together with grim death marches of exposition that make Cliff's Notes read like great literature.Even then it would be a close contest. I would rather read the most stultifying of State Department briefings than the second h [...]


    5. A Romantic ending to a debilitating national institutionAfter imbibing a dearth of slave narratives, autobiographies and sentimental African American novels, I'm glad to end a semester of antebellum literary study with Francis Harper's Iola Leroy. It's difficult to imagine the courage of those who sought progress and resolve after the civil war and chattel slavery. Iola embodies the necessary spirit of the African race to see this nation as her own, and despite pervading racial hatred at the tur [...]


    6. I had to read this novel, not just because I have to for uni :( but also because it is considered to be one of the very first novels written by a black woman. Being such an important text, it just had to be delved into. However, I found that because approximately half of the book is written in dialect that was attributed to how uneducated black slaves did speak, that the novel was a grueling read. Yet, I did like the themes of the book, and knowing that it was written by a black woman, made me v [...]


    7. Mrs Harper's only novel was intended to encourage good citizenship and education for those who had long been under the yoke of slavery. It would be a good lesson for all peoples in taking the initiative to better themselves and be productive and successful members of society.


    8. So overly saccharine it made my teeth hurt. And who would have thought a novel written by a temperance supporter especially for women’s church groups would be so damn preachy?


    9. I have a lot of problems with this book. Even though it was composed by a female author, several aspects of it are still sexist. Additionally, it equates the of slavery with the evil of intemperance. And then, it essentially doubles as a religious text. Slavery itself is hardly touched on––which, perhaps, is due to the fact that it is a postbellum novel, and so the exposé was a less important aspect––and much of the story is spent on essay-like discourse between characters who are tryin [...]


    10. A Mississippi plantation owner frees, educates & marries a former slave whom he passes as white. The story follows his middle child, Iola Leroy, from her privileged childhood to the devastation brought on their family by the American Civil War.Written in the late 19th century, the book's style is a product of its time - plot plays second fiddle to social commentary, tropes stand in for characters. So rather than a suspension of disbelief, what the reader experiences is the pure & passion [...]


    11. Inspirational ReadThis book painted a fantasized love story intertwined in a heinous time in history with accuracy and sensitivity. It motivated me to be better and take advantage of each opportunity. The characters were well thought out. Exceptional read.


    12. The book is a decent novel. However, I was left with wanting something more. I felt as if the climax occurred early on and then the rest of the novel was a drawn out resolution. The book focused more on life after slavery rather than during, which is a change for this time period.


    13. Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy features an uncommon heroine; Iola Leroy appears white, but chooses to embrace her African American ancestry amidst the turbulent racial controversies that plagued America throughout the Antebellum Period, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction Period. By rejecting the opportunity to identify herself as white through an unsuitable marriage, Iola discards the idea that a biracial woman should feel shame when she embraces her ancestry. As such, Harper’s novel challen [...]


    14. Very clearly written as a moralistic tale, but the racial issues described are depressingly still relevant today.



    15. Another "how have I not read this yet?" book for me, -Iola Leroy- is the only novel written by Harper, a prolific writer of poetry and nonfiction and an important social activist and lecturer in 19th- century America. The book was written in 1892 but takes place during and immediately after the Civil War, mainly in the late 1860s and early 1870s. In many ways, this book feels hyper-relevant to today's social and racial inequalities; passages like the following could have been written yesterday: [...]


    16. Major Fields Prep: 11/133Although written near the end of the century, Harper's first novel details the events of the Civil War and particularly focuses on the era of Reconstruction. Her protagonist, Iola, adheres to many values of the Cult of True Womanhood, including piety and temperance. The text remains largely concerned with the betterment of the black family, the security of black mothers, and the education of formerly enslaved people. Harper endorses notions of "racial uplift" and epitomi [...]


    17. Tough slog to get through, but it still managed to hold my interest. It's the story of a young woman (the eponymous Iola) who is raised as a proper young Southern girl, the daughter of a plantation owner but discovers at the time of her father's death that her mother is actually a former slave who has been passing as white with the help of the father. Iola and her brother are outed as being black, and are shocked and dismayed at the unexpected change in their circumstances. Eventually they find [...]


    18. A progressive evaluation of the role of people of color in post-Civil War society. Although it ends with a saccharine "happily ever after" that was rarely attainable for the time period, the author doesn't pull her punches exposing the social ills of 1890s America. She shrewdly analyzes the various movements that worked in tandem with slavery to oppress people of color, most notably, a scathing look of the double-edged sword of Christianity and organized religion. The dialog is atrocious ("Law' [...]


    19. Absolutely WONDERFUL book! Iola Leroy; Shadows Uplifted teaches about how black slaves and "mulattos" had to fight for their freedom as well as how they were being treated by their owners. It shines light on how strong as well as just how smart they really were regardless to what their owners or others may have thought. One will learn about the cruel, inhumane, physical, as well as mental treatment that these people had to indure inorder to survive and make it North for freedom, and even then di [...]


    20. The beginning of this book starts out promising, introducing a likable cast of characters and setting up an interesting conflict. The flashbacks are well done, and the first half of the book is enjoyable. However, the story ultimately spirals into a tale of unrealistic serendipity separated by clunky and heavy-handed political and social conversation. While the viewpoints are still important, they lose their appeal as the writing style changes. It is worth a read, especially since it reads so qu [...]


    21. It was a good book, and read in the context of the historical climate of the time, it was really interesting to see how Harper was so thoroughly engaged in the conversation around race and Reconstruction. That said, as an independent piece of literature, I did enjoy it - but it was very symbolically over the top and not even remotely subtle. It was a good story with heartfelt characters - but they were almost caricatures of themselves, and their conversations with nothing more than political dia [...]


    22. This novel has all the flaws of typical nineteenth century literature (overt sentimentality, didactic moralizing, too much exposition), but the story is still interesting--shortly before the Civil War, Iola Leroy, a young Southern belle, loses her father and discovers that she is black, not white. She and her mother are then sold into slavery. The story follows her and other family members through and for a few years after the Civil War. Oprah should make a mini-series out of this one!


    23. Let me begin by acknowledging the valuable historical importance of this novel, one of the first published by a black woman. Unfortunately, the novel itself is rather unremarkable. Harper's commendable optimism does not make for great plotting: an issue arises in one chapter and is quickly settled by the next. Somewhat similarly, her characters tend to be ideals or types. An important landmark to be sure, but not one I'd recommend outside of that fact.


    24. Read for 19th Cent American Fiction. Very heavy-handed on the issues of temperance, elevation of the black race, and moral behavior = Christianity. Interesting messages sent about racial mixing (no racial boundaries actually crossed, though within-race "complexion" discrimination is discussed) and motherhood (by thinking that black women need to be taught how to be good mothers, isn't Iola dismissing any efforts made during slavery?)


    25. This was an important book when it came out in 1892. It was the first widely read novel by a black woman writer to deal with the African American experience during slavery, the war, and reconstruction. Harper uses this form to break stereotypes, reveal and critique racism that affected the lives of black people post slavery. I was particularly interested in the characters, like Iola, who could pass as white but were not accepted once their racial background was revealed.


    26. It's difficult to properly critique a book with as much social significance as Iola Leroy, but the honest truth is that Harper is much better with poetry than prose. As a novel, it feels a bit flat, heavy handed, and preachy. However, it succeeds at presenting the issues of the time period in an honest and unflinching matter, while also offering potential solutions(solutions that we still have not fully embraced 100+ years later).


    27. I changed my rating of this book after chatting with Amy yesterday and realizing that I've been thinking about it a lot more than I realized. I don't think it's as stylistically sophisticated as, say, Contending Forces, but it was still a really interesting read and I admire the balanced portrait that Harper paints of postbellum biracial characters.


    28. Frances E.W. Harper was ahead of her time in many ways. I was impressed often by her feminist viewpoints, even among the sentimentality and heavy Christian themes. (I suppose I should have expected as much) Maybe not the most engrossing read, and certainly not without its flaws, but a solid collection of ideas nonetheless.


    29. This book is one of the first books published by an African-American woman. Although it is not in the American literary canon is an important book both for its historical significance and its depiction of how blacks found ways to fight against the oppression of white supremacy at the turn of the 20th century.


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