BOOK: Hendricks on Fannie Barrier Williams


Wanda A. Hendricks, Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013.

via University of Illinois Press:

Continue reading “BOOK: Hendricks on Fannie Barrier Williams”


Bonner on Frederick Douglass’s Compressed, Expanding World | @AAIHS

Christopher Bonner writes:

“As Douglass saw it, technological development enhanced political work. Steamships brought news from Europe in as few as fifteen days, which struck him as an immediate kind of knowledge that allowed a localized movement to exert a broad and seemingly instant influence. “A revolution now cannot be confined to the place or the people where it may commence, but flashes with lightning speed from heart to heart, from land to land, till it has traversed the globe.” News of France’s revolution moved “like a bolt of living thunder,” and cast “a ray of hope” into the dark corners of “American slave pens” inspiring the oppressed to join a struggle against tyranny in its diverse manifestations. Maritime technology, electric wiring, and print culture gave France’s revolution that broad power. Douglass’s own commentary made the revolution an Atlantic phenomenon, as he framed it as an attack on American slaveholders. “Thank God for the event! Slavery cannot always reign.”

We are living in the world Douglass invoked, defined by instantaneous communication, uncontainable ideas, and the complicated power of technology…”

Read the rest: Frederick Douglass’s Compressed, Expanding World | AAIHS

Dunbar on Black Slavery and the General Viewing Audience | Process

Erica Armstrong Dunbar (University of Delaware) at Process History on slavery in films:

Shortly after its premier, Roots was plagued with controversy regarding the authenticity of Haley’s research and scholarship. But families like mine held fast to the importance of the miniseries. We had no alternatives. Many criticized the romanticized relationships that appeared in Roots, but it didn’t matter to us. We were grateful. Grateful to see our history find its way to primetime. Grateful that the stories of the enslaved were available to a large audience. Grateful that Kunta Kinte had become a household name.

In fact, it was the character Kunta Kinte that made the television production so powerful. It was Kinte’s strength, power, and intelligence that kept the rapt attention of viewers. We witnessed the capture of a young man and followed him along the transatlantic slave trade. We watched him land in Annapolis, Maryland, prior to the Revolutionary War and followed him as he carved out a life as an enslaved man in Virginia. We watched as plantation slavery spread to the newer states that entered the union and we saw his family members and others sold to quench the thirst of southern slavery. My sister and I closed our eyes when actor John Amos received what has become an iconic example of slavery’s torture. I remember the shininess of the axe that was used to dismember Kunta Kinte, tied to a tree after an unsuccessful escape attempt. I had never seen such barbarity in my life. That scene lodged itself into my memory and became wedded to my understanding of human bondage.”

Read the entire essay: From Roots to The Book of Negroes: Black Slavery and the General Viewing Audience | Process

RADIO/PODCAST: Jones-Rogers on White Women’s Roles in Slavery on Against the Grain

A GROUP OF CONFEDERATE WOMEN. MISS S. B. C. PRESTON. MISS ISABELLA D. MARTIN. MRS. JEFFERSON DAVIS. MRS. LOUISA S. MCCORD. MRS. FRANCIS W. PICKENS. MRS. DAVID R WILLIAMS. As seen in Chesnut, Mary Boykin Miller. Diary from Dixie, as Written by Mary Boykin Chesnut, Wife of James Chesnut, Jr., United States Senator from South Carolina, 1859-1861, and Afterward an Aide to Jefferson Davis and a Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1905. (Accessed 2015 October 21 on DocSouth – click for item)

On Against the Grain, Stephanie Jones-Rogers (University of California, Berkeley) discusses white women slaveowners in the U.S. South and their role as slave traders:

Although white women have been largely excluded from histories of the domestic U.S. slave trade, they were in fact active participants in the buying and selling of enslaved Blacks. So argues Stephanie Jones-Rogers; she also elucidates the power slave owners had under federal and state law to go into so-called free states to reclaim runaway slaves.

Listen to the show: Tues 10.20.15 | White Women’s Roles in Slavery | Against the Grain: A Program about Politics, Society and Ideas

Childs on Visible Fugitives and the “Out-Of-Placeness” of Runaway Slaves at AAIHS

"The Maroons in Ambush on the Dromilly Estate in the parish of Trelawney, Jamaica, by J. Bourgoin; engraved by J. Merigot"; published by J. Cribb [London, 1801] as shown on, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library. (Click image for details)
“The Maroons in Ambush on the Dromilly Estate in the parish of Trelawney, Jamaica, by J. Bourgoin; engraved by J. Merigot”; published by J. Cribb [London, 1801] as shown on, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library. (Click image for details)
Greg Childs writes:

“In all fairness to historians who have taken this position in their either implicit or explicit discussions of black geographies, the insistence on seeing un-enslaved fugitives in the confusing and contradictory space of the “bush” stems from a similar insistence that spills out from the documentation of runaway communities. In the context of the Portuguese empire, for example, by the 1650s those who were employed as slave catchers were known as “capitães do mato” a term that is often literally rendered in English as “bush captain”. 5 The name itself was not employed consistently across the Portuguese empire and thus other names for the slave catchers emerged as well by the 1680s. Yet, these names also locked runaway communities into a geographical wilderness. Thus the “capitães das entradas dos matos” were “captains of the entryway into the bush,” a phrase that seemed to consider the “entryway into the bush” to be the very the boundary between rational civilization and uncharted wilderness. Thus by locating black subjects in undeveloped, unmapped areas, black subjects are themselves naturalized as irrational and underdeveloped by archival sources.”

Read the entire post: Visible Fugitives | African American Intellectual History Blog

Johnson on Black Death and the Gallows in 18th Century Jamaica

“One evening, on a road in Jamaica, a soldier belonging to the “Mulatto Company” made his evening rounds. He came upon a black man in the woods. The soldier called for his attention. Receiving no answer, he killed him…”

Jessica Marie Johnson’s October post for the African American Intellectual Society Blog is on black death and this rare sketch (available at the Library Company of Philadelphia) done by Pierre Eugène du Simitière sometime in 1760s Jamaica. Read the rest: Black Death: Gore, Geographies and the Gallows in Jamaica

Reblogged from Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog

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