The Life and Times of Aunt Elsie Brooks: Or, A Semi-Fictional Narrative Playscript, in the tradition of the American Slave Narrative, of the Life and Times of a Female Ex-Slave Written, Not By Herself, But instead, By One Who Researched the Incidents of Her Life in Conjunction With the African-American History and Folklore of Ithaca, New York
Robert L. Harris, Jr.
Thesis DT 3.5 1990 S6168
xii, 162 leaves: ill.; 29 cm.
The lengthy title of this thesis is an allusion to the titles which nineteenth-century African-American authors often gave their works. This title also serves to encapsulate, in a mere ten lines, the scope, components and methodologies of my Master's thesis.
In the attempt to combine certain historical, literary and theatrical interests, I set out to write a narrative playscript in which the subject of local Ithaca folklore, Elsie Brooks, would tell the story of her life and times. This thesis documents the research, discoveries and choices made in the achievement of this end. I have divided this text to indicate the three main components of this project - the researching, writing and performing of the script. Section One presents the research on both the character and the historical context of her life. Section Two discusses the literary research and its applications in my writing of the scripts. In my conclusion, I elaborate on the performance of the script as an educational tool for elementary, middle, and high school students.