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Fugitive ScienceEmpiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture$
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Britt Rusert

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479885688

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479885688.001.0001

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Delany’s Comet

Delany’s Comet

Blake; or, The Huts of America and the Science Fictions of Slavery

(p.149) 4 Delany’s Comet
Fugitive Science

Britt Rusert

NYU Press

Turning to the publication of Martin Delany’s serial novel, Blake; or the Huts of America, in the Anglo-African Magazine in 1859, this chapter argues that black experiments with natural science helped to produce early works of black speculative fiction. This chapter casts Blake as a work of proto–science fiction that challenged the impoverished conception of the human found in both racial science and mainstream abolitionism. It is especially interested in a cosmic and existential model of fugitivity that Delany develops in both Blake and in his writings on astronomy in the Anglo-African.

Keywords:   Martin Delany, speculative fiction, slavery, Blake, astronomy, racial science, Anglo-African, African American literature, fugitivity, abolitionism

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