Crusade for Justice and the Question of Authenticity in African American Autobiography


  • Monia Dal Checco American Studies Leipzig



authenticity, authority, Ida B. Wells, slave narratives, memoir


This article aims at throwing light on the concept of racial authenticity and on its connections with the discourses around authority and cultural dominance. In particular it looks at the concept of authenticity – conceived as documentations, preoccupation with factuality and credibility – in Ida B. Wells´s Crusade for Justice“, which I consider as a work of transition between slave narratives and post-Emancipation political memoirs.

Author Biography

Monia Dal Checco, American Studies Leipzig

After completing my BA in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (German and American Studies) at the University of Padua with a thesis on the emergence of Black English as a literary language, I enrolled into a MA in the same disciplines, also in Padua, which I concluded with a thesis titled “Crossing the Barrier Between High and Ethnic Modernism: The Importance of Migration and Displacement“.

After one year working as an English teacher in Italy, I applied for a position as a PhD student at the Institute for American Studies in Leipzig with Prof. Anne Koenen as my advisor.

Coherently with my academic experiences so far, I am currently working on a dissertation project on authenticity in African American autobiographies with the working title “From Bios“ to Graphia“: Authenticity in African American Autobiographies“. 

My main areas of interest are African American Literature, Women’s Literature and life writing, especially when these fields overlap.




How to Cite

Dal Checco, Monia. “Crusade for Justice and the Question of Authenticity in African American Autobiography”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 16, no. 1, May 2015, doi:10.5283/copas.224.