queen nanny of the maroons by renee cox
Mythic Women, Historic Waters

The Slave Ship by Turner
Michelle Cliff
Shaw Memorial
Mary Ellen Pleasant
Clover Adams Memorial
The Female Artist: Hidden Histories



Portrait of Mary Ellen Pleasant

Mary Ellen Pleasant

 Free Enterprise

A Novel

by Michelle Cliff


This site is devoted to exploring key elements in
Michelle Cliff's 1993 novel that fictionalizes the
historical events behind John Brown's raid on
Harper's Ferry and the role that wealthy
entrepreneuer and former slave, Mary Ellen
Pleasant, played in this moment of antebellum
militant resistance against slavery. Students
enrolled in the Fall 2008 course, Feminist Narratives
and Racial Politics, will collaborate on creating a
multimedia narrative exploring this overlooked but
phenomenal work of fiction.

Back to Course Syllabus.

Michelle Cliff
Photo of Michelle Cliff

Top Image Credits (l-r): "Queen Nanny of the Maroons" by Renee Cox (2005); "The Slave Ship, or Slavers Overthrowing the Dead and Dying - Typhon Coming On" by J.M.W. Turner (1840); Shaw Memorial by August Saint-Gaudens (1884-1897); Memorial to Clover Adams by August Saint-Gaudens (1891). | Back to Top