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Book Club: “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict” by Austin Reed
June 11, 2016 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Join OHA’s book club on June 11th to discuss “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict” by Austin Reed, with forward by David W. Blight and Robert B. Stepto. This book is described as “The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America.” Austin Reed was a prisoner at Auburn State Prison in the mid-19th century.
How was this memoir discovered?
According to NPR, “At an estate sale in Rochester, N.Y., in 2009, a rare book seller came upon a curious literary artifact. As it turned out, it was a memoir written in the 1850s by Austin Reed, a black man who spent most of his life in prison…When Reed’s memoir found its way to Yale University, librarians and scholars were eager to get a look at it. Robert Stepto, a professor of African-American studies, has spent a lifetime studying slave narratives.”