Document Type


Date of Award



Authors, Black, Literature, Black authors, Autobiography, 18th century

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

First Advisor

Vincent Freimarck

Second Advisor

Bernard Rosenthal

Third Advisor

Roger B. Stein


...The black writer eagerly accepted the "Excellent New Tune" of the "Ancient Love Song, " and thus he used the typological method to understand himself and his experiences in a strange and uninviting world. He knew to some extent the Biblical patterns and how they could be used to explain daily happenings in the light of Scriptural parallels. Brumm says that those who believed in typology knew "that God uses natural events to give or signals to man. Such a sign does have a definite meaning, even though it may well be imperfectly understood. This means that of natural events one must inquire after their significances" (p. 18). The black autobiographers conducted investigations into the significances of their startling experiences during a period of history in which they found themselves treated abominably by other men. This seemingly incomprehensible treatment required an urgency of self-scrutiny in order to discover the real meaning of existence in the grand scheme of the world, which many times seemed to blacks entirely run by demonic forces.