2. "Was Abolitionism a Failure" by John Grinspan
"Today, we point to abolition as proof that we can improve society by eliminating one glaring evil. This is what unites “new abolitionists” across the political spectrum, whether they’re working to end the death penalty or ban abortion. We like the idea of sweeping change, of an idealistic movement triumphing over something so clearly wrong.
The problem is, that’s not really how slavery ended. Those upright, moral, prewar abolitionists did not succeed. Neither did the stiff-necked Southern radicals who ended up destroying the institution they went to war to maintain. It was the flexibility of the Northern moderates, those flip-floppers who voted against abolition before they voted for it, who really ended 250 years of slavery.
Abolitionists make better heroes, though, principled and courageous and seemingly in step with 21st century values. But people from the past who espoused beliefs we hold today were usually rejected at the time. We can only wonder which of today’s unpopular causes will, in 150 years, be considered the abolitionism of 2015."
3. "Symbiosis between slavery and feminism in Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda's Sab?" by Brigida Pastor
"Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda's novel Sab (1841) has been subject to many interpretations. Early criticism considered it as little more than a sentimental and shocking romantic story: the impossibly unconventional love of a black slave for a white woman. Later critics have sought to establish Sab as a pioneering antislavery novel. This article will attempt to demonstrate that Avellaneda's main purpose was not to narrate a doomed love, nor to present a denunciation of slavery, but to express her feminist ideology, establishing the parallelism between the situation of black slaves and the oppression of white women in the bourgeois society of her time. However, we cannot say that Avellaneda created a symbiosis between slavery and feminism; the theme of slavery is only a metaphor, doubly shocking because it exposes her own emancipating ideas in an oppressive society that did not forgive those voices which dared to transgress its norms."
4. "A Legacy to the World: Race and Gender in Sab" by Brigida Pastor
"Avellaneda’s purpose is to disguise her feminist views under the pretext of an abolitionist novel, but that she resorts to the anti-slavery theme to establish an analogy between the position of women and slaves, thus highlighting her feminist concern, which is repeated and treated more explicitly in her other early novel Dos mujeres. Sab arises from the need of women to express their feminine identities within the prevailing social structures. Avellaneda’s later works confirm the depth of her commitment to justice and freedom, explaining why she had to use a variety of strategies to survive in a society that condemned those who dared to transgress its norms. In Sab, the contemporary problem of slavery allowed the author also to affirm the rights of women and her desire for social equality.10 But I hope to show that Avellaneda’s powerful portrayal of her "feminised" male slave Sab and of her female characters constitutes an even greater form of rebellion, in that they constitute authentic feminine voices, who in one way or another articulate the problematic relationship between the sexes in a patriarchal society."