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BOOK: Lightfoot on Slavery and Freedom in Antigua

Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2015. via Duke University Press: “In 1834 Antigua became the only British colony in the Caribbean to move directly from slavery to full emancipation. Immediate freedom, however, did not live up to its promise, as it did not guarantee any level of stability or autonomy, and the implementation of … Continue reading BOOK: Lightfoot on Slavery and Freedom in Antigua

Rothman Remarks on Marguerite Thompson’s Petition for Freedom

Adam Rothman remarks on a freed woman of color’s petition for manumission, posted by the National Archives on June 30, 2015: “…One aspect of Marguerite Thompson’s petition that drew my attention is the fact that she submitted her petition to the Judge Charles Peabody’s U.S. Provisional Court (USPC). This court was established by the United States after Union forces seized New Orleans in 1862. Legal … Continue reading Rothman Remarks on Marguerite Thompson’s Petition for Freedom

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BOOK: Frankel on Freedom’s Women in Mississippi

Noralee Frankel, Freedom’s Women: Black Women and Families in Civil War Era Mississippi. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. via Indiana U Press: “Freedom’s Women examines African American women’s experiences during the Civil War and early Reconstruction years in Mississippi. Exploring issues of family and work, the author shows how African American women’s attempts to achieve more control over their lives shaped their attitudes toward work, … Continue reading BOOK: Frankel on Freedom’s Women in Mississippi

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BOOK: Hunter on Southern Black Women After the Civil War

Tera W. Hunter, To “Joy My Freedom:” Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. via Harvard University Press: “As the Civil War drew to a close, newly emancipated black women workers made their way to Atlanta—the economic hub of the newly emerging urban and industrial south—in order to build an independent and free life on the … Continue reading BOOK: Hunter on Southern Black Women After the Civil War

Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic

Six months after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it is worth revisiting scholars’ reflections on what his death, extrajudicial killings of people of African descent, and histories of slavery and diaspora have in common. Last August, Patrick Rael placed present-day re-articulations of respectability politics against a long history of black political rhetoric, beginning with antebellum free black activists’ debates about moral uplift … Continue reading Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic

Bonner on Black Politics in a New World

Over at the African American Intellectual History Society Blog, Christopher Bonner discusses free black activism (and extralegal violence against them) in the United States after the Civil War: “Perhaps Henry Highland Garnet was accustomed to having his life threatened. In early August 1865, the black activist and orator, who had spent most of his life in New York, sat as an honorary delegate at a … Continue reading Bonner on Black Politics in a New World