"Death or Liberty": Henry Box Brown "personificating" himself in Edward Gascoigne Burton's The Fugitive Free and The Nubian Captive

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Abstract

In 1857, Henry Box Brown starred in Edward Gascoigne Burton's The Fugitive Free and The Nubian Captive, two “slave dramas” based on his life. His performance inevitably infused both with an antislavery message: in a radical departure from conventional black abolitionist strategies of resistance in the British Isles, the plays change our understanding of British anti-slavery, of Brown, and of black British performance in general. Despite his short acting career, Brown should be placed alongside fellow African American actors like Ira Aldridge for his integral role in challenging the white racial schema on the Victorian stage.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of American Studies
Early online date13 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2021

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