F20 Black Atlantic: Resources, Pedagogy, and Scholarship on the 18th Century Black Atlantic

An Englishman's Story of an African Man

Reading this latest “narrative” I was struck by two things which I think are essential in understanding this text. One is that we have another story in which we have a white writer again having the dictate the narrative of an enslaved African. More than just being about this white writer but it becomes clear that Job is able to write which leads me to inquire why is it that we do not have Job writing his own narrative. At least for me, it is quite clear that Job is smarter than those around him, going so far as to copy the entire Koran by hand, which again has me wondering why is it that we are given his narrative from an outsider’s view. But interesting enough he seems as least to me to be in more of a position to navigate his own subjectivity and positionality than the writer is willing to give him, and I think if we were given his narrative we would see how he negotiates these spaces.
Aside from the obvious discussion of Job as the noble savage there is also this discourse surrounding his being a Muslim which seems to be silenced in this text, as if the writer at times does not want to go into detail about his religion and how this shapes how he sees the Europeans. In one instance he talks about believing Jesus Christ to be a prophet and asks those around him why is it that they have created this image of Jesus when they have never seen him. Here I get the sense  (despite the author’s silence) that Job is aware of the racial discourses that are going on around him, and that while he’s taking this in he’s not a passive observer but is critical of the English

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