By Ana Nunes (auth.)
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Additional info for African American Women Writers’ Historical Fiction
I will understand, and I will be able to do something about it. I will write books that will prove the history texts were distorted. ”8 It is interesting SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT 27 to note here how Walker represents her experience in terms of past and future tenses. The history learned on the school benches of the segregated South contributed to this first impulse to set the record of American history straight. In the North, Walker realized that poverty and injustice were not confined to the Southern states or to one side of the racial dividing line.
7 She also carried with her, like other black writers before her, a strong determination to write to change preconceived ideas of African American identity. In the same way as Harper felt compelled to work for the abolitionist cause after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in Maryland, Walker committed herself to writing as a means of changing the Jim Crow South: “When I went to school, I read the history books that glorify the white race and describe the Negro either as a clown and a fool or a beast capable of very hard work in excessive heat .
The first black woman to publish a novel in English35 defied the white Northern values in yet another way. Frado is the result of an interracial marriage between a black man and a white woman, a kind of relationship that was socially unacceptable. Furthermore, the depiction of this marriage as a reasonably successful union,36 as Gates points out, “did nothing to aid the book’s circulation in the North or the South,”37 condemning it to oblivion until 1983, the date of the publication of its second edition.