BOOK: Edelson on the Plantation Worlds of South Carolina

S. Max Edelson, Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.

European settlers came to South Carolina in 1670 determined to possess an abundant wilderness. Over the course of a century, they settled highly adaptive rice and indigo plantations across a vast coastal plain. Forcing slaves to turn swampy wastelands into productive fields and to channel surging waters into elaborate irrigation systems, planters initiated a stunning economic transformation.

The result, Edelson reveals, was two interdependent plantation worlds. A rough rice frontier became a place of unremitting field labor. With the profits, planters made Charleston and its hinterland into a refined, diversified place to live. From urban townhouses and rural retreats, they ran multiple-plantation enterprises, looking to England for affirmation as agriculturists, gentlemen, and stakeholders in Britain’s American empire. Offering a new vision of the Old South that was far from static, Edelson reveals the plantations of early South Carolina to have been dynamic instruments behind an expansive process of colonization.

With a bold interdisciplinary approach, Plantation Enterprise reconstructs the environmental, economic, and cultural changes that made the Carolina Lowcountry one of the most prosperous and repressive regions in the Atlantic world.

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EDITED: Keaton, Sharpley-Whiting, and Stovall on Black France

 Trica Danielle Keaton, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and Tyler Stovall, eds. Black France / France Noire: The History and Politics of Blackness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.

From Duke University Press:

In Black France / France Noire, scholars, activists, and novelists from France and the United States address the untenable paradox at the heart of French society. France’s constitutional and legal discourses do not recognize race as a meaningful category. Yet the lived realities of race and racism are ever-present in the nation’s supposedly race-blind society. The vaunted universalist principles of the French Republic are far from realized. Any claim of color-blindness is belied by experiences of anti-black racism, which render blackness a real and consequential historical, social, and political formation. Contributors to this collection of essays demonstrate that blackness in France is less an identity than a response to and rejection of anti-black racism. Black France / France Noire is a distinctive and important contribution to the increasingly public debates on diversity, race, racialization, and multicultural intolerance in French society and beyond.

Contributors. Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga, Allison Blakely, Jennifer Anne Boittin, Marcus Bruce, Fred Constant, Mamadou Diouf, Arlette Frund, Michel Giraud, Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Trica Danielle Keaton, Jake Lamar, Patrick Lozès, Alain Mabanckou, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Tyler Stovall, Christiane Taubira, Dominic Thomas, Gary Wilder

Read the introduction here.

Afro-Europe posted a round-up of links related to race, racism, and blackness in France. Click here for more.

 

(H/T: AFRO-EUROPE: Book: Black France / France Noire: The History and Politics of Blackness)

BOOK: Cecelski on Former Slave Turned Union Spy Abraham H. Galloway

David S. Cecelski, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War. Durham, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Abraham H. Galloway (1837-70) was a fiery young slave rebel, radical abolitionist, and Union spy who rose out of bondage to become one of the most significant and stirring black leaders in the South during the Civil War. Throughout his brief, mercurial life, Galloway fought against slavery and injustice. He risked his life behind enemy lines, recruited black soldiers for the North, and fought racism in the Union armys ranks. He also stood at the forefront of an African American political movement that flourished in the Union-occupied parts of North Carolina, even leading a historic delegation of black southerners to the White House to meet with President Lincoln and to demand the full rights of citizenship. He later became one of the first black men elected to the North Carolina legislature.

Long hidden from history, Galloway’s story reveals a war unfamiliar to most of us. As David Cecelski writes, “Galloway’s Civil War was a slave insurgency, a war of liberation that was the culmination of generations of perseverance and faith.” This riveting portrait illuminates Galloway’s life and deepens our insight into the Civil War and Reconstruction as experienced by African Americans in the South.

BOOK: McCandless on Slavery and Disease in the Carolinas

Peter McCandless, Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Lowcountry. 1st ed. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

From Cambridge U Press:

On the eve of the Revolution, the Carolina lowcountry was the wealthiest and unhealthiest region in British North America. Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Lowcountry argues that the two were intimately connected: both resulted largely from the dominance of rice cultivation on plantations using imported African slave labor. This development began in the coastal lands near Charleston, South Carolina, around the end of the seventeenth century. Rice plantations spread north to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina and south to Georgia and northeast Florida in the late colonial period. The book examines perceptions and realities of the lowcountry disease environment; how the lowcountry became notorious for its ‘tropical’ fevers, notably malaria and yellow fever; how people combated, avoided or perversely denied the suffering they caused; and how diseases and human responses to them influenced not only the lowcountry and the South, but the United States, even helping to secure American independence.

BOOK: Golash-Boza on Blackness in Peru

 

Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.

From University Press of Florida:

Yo Soy Negro is the first book in English–in fact, the first book in any language in more than two decades–to address what it means to be black in Peru. Based on extensive ethnographic work in the country and informed by more than eighty interviews with Peruvians of African descent, this groundbreaking study explains how ideas of race, color, and mestizaje in Peru differ greatly from those held in other Latin American nations.

The conclusion that Tanya Maria Golash-Boza draws from her rigorous inquiry is that Peruvians of African descent give meaning to blackness without always referencing Africa, slavery, or black cultural forms. This represents a significant counterpoint to diaspora scholarship that points to the importance of slavery in defining blackness in Latin America as well as studies that place cultural and class differences at the center of racial discourses in the region.

CFP: The South Atlantic, Past and Present

Call for Papers:  The South Atlantic, Past and Present

Guest Editor: Luiz Felipe de Alencastro (Université Paris Sorbonne)

This volume will focus on the historical, geopolitical and cultural aspects of the South Atlantic, past and present.

From 1550 to 1850 most of Brazil and Angola formed a system sustained by the slave trade and intercolonial traffic that complemented exchanges between these regions and Portugal. This system also included Buenos Aires, the Amazon maritime captaincies, the Senegambia and the Gulf of Guinea and, in the first half of the 19th Century, Mozambique. After the independence of the Lusophone nations in Africa, direct relationships were reestablished between the two sides of the ocean. New extensions appeared with the creation in 2003 of the India, Brazil and South Africa Forum. Underlining the new geopolitics of the South Atlantic, the United States re-established in 2008 the Fourth Fleet in the region (originally established in 1942 and disbanded in 1950).

The deadline for submission is 1 October 2012.

Themes include:

– The South Atlantic and the concepts of World-economy (Braudel) and World-system (Wallerstein)
– South Atlantic Geohistory and Historiography
– Languages and cultural exchanges in the South Atlantic
– Literary dimensions of the South Atlantic
– Lusofonia, religion and missionaries in past and present South Atlantic
– The teaching of South Atlantic history
– Forced and free migrations in the South Atlantic
– The South Atlantic, Hispanic America and the Caribbean
– The United States and the South Atlantic
– Mercosur and the South Atlantic

Please send submissions to the Guest Editor: Luiz Felipe de Alencastro: luiz.de_alencastro@paris-sorbonne.fr
Luiz Felipe de Alencastro
Centre d’Etudes du Brésil et de l’Atlantique Sud
Occident Moderne
Université de Paris Sorbonne
1,rue Victor Cousin
Paris 75005
phone 0140462685
Email: luiz.de_alencastro@paris-sorbonne.fr

EDITED: Gleeson and Lewis on the Bicentennial of the International Slave Trade Bans

David T. Gleeson and Simon Lewis, eds. Ambiguous Anniversary: The Bicentennial of the International Slave Trade Bans. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2012.

From University of South Carolina Press:

In March 1807, within a few weeks of each other, both the United States and the United Kingdom passed laws banning the international slave trade. Two hundred years later, Great Britain, an instigator of the slave trade and the chief source of slaves sold into continental North America, was awash nationwide in commemorations of the ban. By contrast the bicentennial
of the ban received almost no attention in the United States. Ambiguous Anniversary aims to remedy that omission and to explain the discrepancy between the two commemorative responses. Edited by David T. Gleeson and Simon Lewis, this volume examines the impact that closing the international slave trade in 1808 had on Southern American economics, politics,
and society.

Recasting the history of slavery in the early Republic and the memory of slavery and abolition in American culture, the foreword, introduction, and ten essays in this volume present a complex picture of an important but partial step in America’s long struggle toward the ambitious but ambiguous goal of liberty and justice for all….

Weekend Reading: The Public Archive on “Radical Black Cities”

This week, The Public Archive published its fourth installment on Radical Black Reading.  The subject was race, urbanity, black geographies, and sense of place:

In this, The Public Archive’s fourth installment of Radical Black Reading,* we hope to contribute to an informal conversation about the history, plight, and future of Black cities – and towards the imagination of a radical Black city. It is a conversation taking place (if only in disparate, scattered form) across the African diaspora. The question of Black urban space, of Black geographies, and of the possibility of a radical Black city adds an urgent element to discussions of the nature of the urban, while the very survival of the Black city becomes a radical act of hope and resistance.

Several books of relevance were listed including Alejandro de la Fuente’s Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century (2011), Leslie Harris’s African or American? Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 (2010), and Carla Peterson’s Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City.  De la Fuente, Harris and Peterson are also featured here, here and here at #ADPhD.

Browse the full list here or view installments here, here, and here.

 Image: David Osagie, Occupy Nigeria (2011) via The Public Archive

BOOK: Harris on African Americans in Pre-Emancipation New York

Leslie M. Harris, In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

In 1991 in lower Manhattan, a team of construction workers made an astonishing discovery. Just two blocks from City Hall, under twenty feet of asphalt, concrete, and rubble, lay the remains of an eighteenth-century “Negro Burial Ground.” Closed in 1790 and covered over by roads and buildings throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the site turned out to be the largest such find in North America, containing the remains of as many as 20,000 African Americans. The graves revealed to New Yorkers and the nation an aspect of American history long hidden: the vast number of enslaved blacks who labored to create our nation’s largest city.In the Shadow of Slavery lays bare this history of African Americans in New York City, starting with the arrival of the first slaves in 1626, moving through the turbulent years before emancipation in 1827, and culminating in one of the most terrifying displays of racism in U.S. history, the New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Drawing on extensive travel accounts, autobiographies, newspapers, literature, and organizational records, Leslie M. Harris extends beyond prior studies of racial discrimination by tracing the undeniable impact of African Americans on class, politics, and community formation and by offering vivid portraits of the lives and aspirations of countless black New Yorkers.

BOOK: Myers on Free Women of Color in Antebellum Charleston

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston. University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

From UNC Press:

For black women in antebellum Charleston, freedom was not a static legal category but a fragile and contingent experience. In this deeply researched social history, Amrita Chakrabarti Myers analyzes the ways in which black women in Charleston acquired, defined, and defended their own vision of freedom.

Drawing on legislative and judicial materials, probate data, tax lists, church records, family papers, and more, Myers creates detailed portraits of individual women while exploring how black female Charlestonians sought to create a fuller freedom by improving their financial, social, and legal standing. Examining both those who were officially manumitted and those who lived as free persons but lacked official documentation, Myers reveals that free black women filed lawsuits and petitions, acquired property (including slaves), entered into contracts, paid taxes, earned wages, attended schools, and formed familial alliances with wealthy and powerful men, black and white–all in an effort to solidify and expand their freedom. Never fully free, black women had to depend on their skills of negotiation in a society dedicated to upholding both slavery and patriarchy. Forging Freedom examines the many ways in which Charleston’s black women crafted a freedom of their own design instead of accepting the limited existence imagined for them by white Southerners.

Forging Freedom received the 2011 George C. Rogers Jr. Award (South Carolina Historical Society) and the 2011 Anna Julia Cooper – CLR James Book Award (National Council for Black Studies).