This blog series has explored the backdrop against which Hannah More wrote her abolitionist work through close reading of passages from her poems Slavery, Yamba and her satirical essay “The White Slave Trade.” More aimed to mobilize emotional and evangelical sentiment among women readers to infuse the abolition movement with energy and shape opinions about slavery.
The previous post in my Hacking Abolition series focused on the insatiable reading appetite of the growing middle class and how Hannah More tapped not only into their sentiment, but their willingness to use expendable income to acquire thought-provoking works. With marketing savvy in mind, this post returns to More's supreme concern, writing with eternity in mind.
A tweet won't take down the giant of slavery, and in our day, the instant gratification of Instagram is not enough. We need real tools to fight the real war against modern day slavery. This post continues to explore the work of Hannah More and her abolition colleagues. It highlights the importance for writers and creatives to understand the political moment in which they write and the reading or aesthetic appetites of their intended audience.
In my last post, I focused on Hannah More's move beyond sentiment in her abolition writing, and especially through her famous poem Slavery, toward social action. Here, I pick up where I left off, continuing the exploration of how her abolition poetry was written to urgently stimulate people, women especially, toward action. There's some great lessons that we can glean as we look to address modern day slavery today through writing and other creative outlets.
In previous posts in my Hacking Abolition blog series, I explored the impetus behind Hannah More's entrance into writing about the transatlantic slave trade. One tactic she used was appealing to emotion by highlighting the great injustice of slavery against fellow human beings. However, she didn't leave it at that. More consciously made a move beyond emotion. This post explores why.