Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2014
“The Ebony Column is superbly researched, skillfully utilizing primary and secondary sources and the most up-to-date scholarship. I was impressed by the amount of deep archival research that was conducted in order to complete this book.” —Cedrick May, author of Evangelism and Resistance in the Black Atlantic, 1760–1835
In The Ebony Column, Eric Ashley Hairston begins a new thread in the ongoing conversation about the influence of Greek and Roman antiquity on U.S. civilization and education. The first book to appear in a new series, Classicism in American Culture, The Ebony Column passionately demonstrates how the myths, cultures, and ideals of antiquity helped African Americans reconceptualize their role in a Euro-American world determined to make them mere economic commodities and emblems of moral and intellectual decay. To figures such as Wheatley, Douglass, Cooper, and DuBois, classical literature offered striking moral, intellectual, and philosophical alternatives to a viciously exclusionary vision of humanity, Africanity, the life of the citizen, and the life of the mind.
Eric Ashley Hairston is Associate Professor of English and of Law and Humanities at Elon University. He was a contributor to New Essays on Phillis Wheatley, edited by John C. Shields.