Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Daniel Livesay

Reader 2

Ellen Rentz

Rights Information

© 2016 Bailey RM Yellen


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the narratives of five formerly enslaved men and women in order to understand how they used this literary form to insert their voices into the anti-slavery discourse. These slave narratives were important for the advancement of the anti-slavery movement, both because they provided glimpse into the realities of the system of slavery from individuals who experienced it, and because these texts questioned the very ideologies they were meant to uphold by highlighting their inherent racial prejudices. Ultimately, the slave narrative allowed these formerly enslaved authors to demonstrate their autonomy through the act of authorship.


Best Senior Thesis in History

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.