Literature

Early Black American Prose

Who was the first African American to have works of prose published?

Briton Hammon was the first black American writer of prose, in 1760. His fourteen-page work, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man-Servant to General Winslow, of Marshfield in New England; Who Returned to Boston, after Having Been Absent almost Thirteen Years, was published in Boston. This fourteen-page account tells of his providential escape from captivity by Indians, and then from his Spanish rescuers. Although it is known that Hammon was an autobiographer, little else is known about him.



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