Tag Archives: black women literature

True Love: The Victorian (Re)Discovery of Black Women’s Literature

If you can pull out some old British newspapers, then you’ll find that an article from 1893 proclaimed Sarah Farro as the 1st Negro Novelist for her publication called ‘True Love.’ Well, they didn’t have their facts right about her being the first, but they did well in recognizing the phenomenal kick-starter for African American literature.

Farro was born in Illinois in 1859 and her parents had moved from the South to settle in Chicago. In the census of 1880, her two sisters and her family were given the ‘Black’ status. One reason why her one and only publication had disappeared from records was that she wrote about white people.

Her novel had been published by a well-known publishing house at the time and it was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exhibition. Her work was among the work of 58 others which constituted of women only. She had even been recognized as an outstanding pioneer for her race in Chicago!

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