Tuesday, May 20, 2008
"Most of the selections I liked best are funny—affirmative, but not pretentious," she says. And by no means do all of the selections idealize love and marriage. In fact, many offer keen insights into how small slights and careless ways can seal a couple's fate.
Foster says the idea for this anthology came about nearly 20 years ago when she was researching for a different, more academic work on the writings of Frances E.W. Harper, with her sister, Cle, near their parents' home in Ohio.
"Cle, who is a retired deputy sheriff and has little patience with fluffy stuff, kept finding these writings [about marriage, courtship and love] in the archives and reading them and saying, 'Hey, this is interesting! You ought to make a book of it,'" Foster recalls.
"Love and Marriage in Early African America" was the result of that journey. "The stories we tell each other shape how we behave toward each other," says Foster. "These writings show that 'children of the sun' can love romantically and deeply. These writings weren't secret, but they weren't written for outsiders either. They were written for people like themselves, by themselves, so were much more candid and honest." ###
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