BOOK: Camp on Everyday Resistance in the U.S. South

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Stephanie M. H. Camp. Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

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Stephanie M. H. Camp (1967-2014)

University of Washington history professor Stephanie M. H. Camp passed away on April 2nd. Camp was the author of Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South (University of North Carolina Press, 2004, also profiled on #ADPhD here). Camp also edited, with Edward Baptist, New Studies in the History of Slavery (University of Georgia Press, 2006).

Selections from her obituary in The Seattle Times:

“She was a well-known feminist historian who wrote a groundbreaking book on enslaved women in the antebellum South, and a social-justice activist who dared to take controversial stands. But Stephanie Camp was also known for her love of popular culture and her sense of adventure and for hosting great parties.

The University of Washington history professor died April 2 of cancer at the age of 46.

Professor Camp’s book, “Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South,” which is in its second printing, led to a new understanding of how enslaved women resisted their captivity in the 19th century. It was cited not only for the quality of its scholarship but also for the beauty of the writing.

The book “transformed the field of American social history,” said Chandan Reddy, an associate professor of English at the UW….”

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BOOK: Cowling on Women, Gender, Emancipation in Cuba & Brazil

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Cowling, Camillia. Conceiving Freedom: Women of Color, Gender, and the Abolition of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

via UNC Press:

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EDITED: M’Bow on Gender Equality, Women, and Citizenship in Africa

Penda M’Bow, ed. Hommes et femmes entre sphères publique et privée. Dakar: Codesria, 2005.

The result of a 1998 conference on gender equality in Africa, Hommes et femmes explores the position of men and women in the public and private spheres across the continent, with a special focus on the role gender inequity and sexism played in democratization and globalization.

M’Bow writes:

“La définition même des pouvoirs féminins dans un contexte de sujétion et d’infériorité constituait l’enjeu central du thème. Fallait-il comprendre ces pouvoirs comme une autorité pleine et entière détenue par les femmes dans une sphère spécifique, une autorité d’ailleurs souvent exercée aux dépens d’autres femmes comme une participation limitée et minoritaire aux pouvoirs des hommes? comme des contre-pouvoirs ou alors séducteurs, secrets et illicites? ou encore comme une ré-appropriation et un détournement (qui est retournement contre le domi- nateur) des instruments symboliques qui instituent la domination masculine? La construction d’une périodisation propre de l’évolution du statut des femmes devait être envisagée pour mieux étudier les différentes modalités du pouvoir des femmes. C’est en démêlant les relations qu’elles entretiennent aussi bien avec les hommes que les unes avec les autres que l’on pouvait comprendre comment un pouvoir féminin [se construit à l’intérieur d’un système de rapports inégalitaires.”

Edited by scholar and activist Penda M’Bow, the volume is available by chapter online. [Click Here]

EDITED: Robertson and Klein on Women and Slavery in Africa

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African Diaspora, Ph.D. is revisiting scholarship that has shaped the study of people of African descent across time and place.

Claire C. Robertson and Martin A. Klein, eds. Women and Slavery in Africa. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

In a 1985 review of the volume, Patrick Manning wrote:

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BOOK: Bush on Slave Women in Caribbean Society

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African Diaspora, Ph.D. is revisiting scholarship that has shaped the study of people of African descent across time and place.

Barbara Bush. Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650-1838. Heinemann, 1990.

In a 1991 review of the volume, Verene A. Shepherd wrote:

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ESSAY: Stevenson on the History of Slavery and Slavery Today

Summer of 2013, in the wake of three kidnappings, each involving young women of color, Brenda Stevenson offered these comments on ways histories of Atlantic slavery continue to reverberate in violence against women today:

The brutal physical, psychological and sexual abuse that Ariel Castro inflicted on Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina DeJesus was typical of what black enslaved women endured over the generations. Michelle Knight’s description of her life of horrors and how she was able to survive it — through bonding with another slave woman — suggests the strength and importance of communal bonds as survival and resistance strategies of slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Likewise, these women’s belief that they would not remain in slavery, as well as the Kenyan maid’s mad dash for freedom on an Orange County bus, suitcase in tow, underscore the resilience and resistance of past bondsmen and women. They are our contemporary Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs and Lavinia Bell. Amanda Berry’s determination to shield her daughter from the violence and shame of her conception, and the brutal deaths of her siblings and stepsiblings at the hands of her “father/master,” speaks to the code of silence that many women, and men, evoked in order to shield the devastating experiences of their lives from public view and to protect their children. The “impact statements” that the families of Knight, Berry and DeJesus voiced, echo the sense of loss and devastation that colonial and antebellum slave families experienced when subject to separation and sale; as well as the immense joy they felt when they received word of their kin’s survival or actual return.

Modern-day slaveholders also offer insight that tugs at debates regarding the past institution. Ariel Castro’s courtroom lament that he was not a “monster,” but rather a “good worker” and “father” who took his daughter to church on Sundays, sheds a harsh light on lingering myths of Southern patriarchy and paternalism. His justification of his abuse — that he was only physically violent when provoked and that his sexual acts with his captives were consensual, even requested — echoes apologists theories that the antebellum institution was a “positive good” and that concubinage implied “loving” relationships. The notion that the Kenyan and Filipina workers of Aayban flew first class and attended spas as an example of how well they were treated is reminiscent of the tauted material condition of some past slaves who paid dearly as a result — the domestics, for example, who had better clothing and food than average field slaves, but who spent much of their lives separated from their kin and friends and were much more likely to be physically brutalized by mistresses with whom they worked or sexually assaulted by masters who had close physical proximity.

Read the entire essay: What the History of Slavery Can Teach Us About Slavery Today by Brenda Stevenson (2013) | History News Network

Brenda E. Stevenson, professor of history at UCLA, is the author of Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South (Oxford University Press, 1996). The full essay was published at the History News Network on August 19, 2013.

(Reblogged from Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog)

BOOK: Stevenson on Slave Family & Community in the U.S. South

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African Diaspora, Ph.D. is revisiting scholarship that has shaped the study of people of African descent across time and place.

Brenda E. Stevenson. Life in Black and White : Family and Community in the Slave South: Family and Community in the Slave South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

From Oxford University Press:

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EDITED: Hull, Scott & Smith’s Some of Us Are Brave (1982)

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African Diaspora, Ph.D. is revisiting scholarship that has shaped the study of people of African descent across time and place. 

In 1982, Hull, Scott, and Smith published a compilation of scholarship on the history, condition, and politics of black women in the United States. The works collected in Some of Us Are Brave spoke back to academic and policy research done in the name of black women, and challenged their absence from contemporary black studies and women’s studies curriculum. A groundbreaking interdisciplinary and activist venture, Some of Us Are Brave shaped the way women of African descent in the United States would be studied, organize, and theorize for decades to come.

Gloria T. Hull, Patricia B. Scott, and Barbara Smith, eds. All the Women Are White, and All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies. New York: Feminist Press, 1982.

via the Feminist Press:

Bibliographies and a collection of syllabi provide readers with essential classroom materials and a map for further research. Winner of the Outstanding Women of Color Award and the Women Educator’s Curriculum Material Award.

“A clear statement about Black women. Congratulations to the editors for compiling such a fine interdisciplinary volume.”

—Geraldine K. Brookins, Ph.D., Jackson State University

“Exciting! Affirmations and the beginning of a new era, where the ‘women’ in women’s studies will no longer mean ‘white.’”

—Audre Lorde

”This is ‘necessary bread’ for women of all colors. The essays contain not only fact and durable resources, but some of the best writing I’ve seen around.”

—Adrienne Rich

VIDEO: Dunbar on African American Women’s History in the Digital Age (Philadelphia)

Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Associate Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware) discusses early African American women’s history, digitization, and constructing historical narratives of black women in the 21st century.

From the announcement:

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