The Elizabeth Keckley Reader, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Writing Self, Writing Nation
Eno Publishers, 9780989609258, 312pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2016
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The Elizabeth Keckley Reader: Volume One--Writing Self, Writing Nation, edited by Sheila Smith McKoy, offers a collection of essays and other works inspired by the life of Elizabeth Keckley, a slave in Hillsborough, North Carolina, who eventually bought her freedom. She became a noted seamstress in Civil War-era Washington DC, and was most famously the confidante of Mary Lincoln. Keckley's memoir, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, is considered one of the seminal narratives of mid-19th century African American women. Scholar Sheila Smith McKoy assembles a wide variety of works published about Keckley. The Elizabeth Keckley Reader examines her life as a determined woman who overcame the horrors of the institution of slavery to become a successful entrepreneur, community leader, educator, author, and friend to the First Lady of the United States. In essays, articles and creative works, Keckley is viewed through the lens of entrepreneur, advocate, civic leader, educator, author, as well as a former slave. The comprehensive volume illuminates the life and work of this remarkable 19th-century African American woman.