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These essays explore unfree labour in colonial British America, especially the transition from a workforce dominated by English indentured servants to one dominated by African slaves. Russell R. Menard addresses patterns of migration among indentured servants, how slave purchases were financed and the opportunities available to servants once they had achieved their freedom. Three of the essays in the volume take up a second, related issue, that of the success of servants and slaves at reproduction in the colonies, coming to the rather startling conclusion that the demographic experience of unfree workers, slaves and recently-freed servants was not as different as one might expect. Menard's central argument is that the transition from servants to slaves was an economic process, driven by changes in the supply of labour.
Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau and Montesquieu are best
known for their humanist theories and liberating influence on
Western civilization. But as renowned French intellectual Louis
Sala-Molins shows, Enlightenment discourses and scholars were also
complicit in the Atlantic slave trade, becoming instruments of
oppression and inequality.
America's slave past is being analyzed as never before, yet it remains one of the most contentious issues in U.S. memory. In recent years, the culture wars over the way that slavery is remembered and taught have reached a new crescendo. From the argument about the display of the Confederate flag over the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, to the dispute over Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings and the ongoing debates about reparations, the questions grow ever more urgent and more difficult.
Edited by noted historians James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, this collection explores current controversies and offers a bracing analysis of how people remember their past and how the lessons they draw influence American politics and culture today. Bringing together some of the nation's most respected historians, including Ira Berlin, David W. Blight, and Gary B. Nash, this is a major contribution to the unsettling but crucial debate about the significance of slavery and its meaning for racial reconciliation.
In the thirty-five years before the Civil War, it became increasingly difficult for Americans outside the world of politics to have frank and open discussions about the institution of slavery, as divisive sectionalism and heated ideological rhetoric circumscribed public debate. To talk about slavery was to explore-or deny-its obvious shortcomings, its inhumanity, its contradictions. To celebrate it required explaining away the nation's proclaimed belief in equality and its public promise of rights for all, while to condemn it was to insult people who might be related by ties of blood, friendship, or business, and perhaps even to threaten the very economy and political stability of the nation. For this reason, Paul D. Naish argues, Americans displaced their most provocative criticisms and darkest fears about the institution onto Latin America. Naish bolsters this seemingly counterintuitive argument with a compelling focus on realms of public expression that have drawn sparse attention in previous scholarship on this era. In novels, diaries, correspondence, and scientific writings, he contends, the heat and bluster of the political arena was muted, and discussions of slavery staged in these venues often turned their attention south of the Rio Grande. At once familiar and foreign, Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, and the independent republics of Spanish America provided rhetorical landscapes about which everyday citizens could speak, through both outright comparisons or implicit metaphors, what might otherwise be unsayable when talking about slavery at home. At a time of ominous sectional fracture, Americans of many persuasions-Northerners and Southerners, Whigs and Democrats, scholars secure in their libraries and settlers vulnerable on the Mexican frontier-found unity in their disparagement of Latin America. This displacement of anxiety helped create a superficial feeling of nationalism as the country careened toward disunity of the most violent, politically charged, and consequential sort.
How can politicians and ordinary citizens face the racial past in a country that frames itself as colorblind? In her timely and provocative book, Resurrecting Slavery, Crystal Fleming shows how people make sense of slavery in a nation where talking about race, colonialism, and slavery remains taboo. Noting how struggles over the meaning of racial history are informed by contemporary politics of race, she asks: What kinds of group identities are at stake today for activists and French people with ties to overseas territories where slavery took place?Fleming investigates the connections and disconnections that are made between racism, slavery, and colonialism in France. She provides historical context and examines how politicians and commemorative activists interpret the racial past and present. Resurrecting Slavery also includes in-depth interviews with French Caribbean migrants outside the commemorative movement to address the everyday racial politics of remembrance.Bringing a critical race perspective to the study of French racism, Fleming's groundbreaking study provides a more nuanced understanding of race in France along with new ways of thinking about the global dimensions of slavery, anti-blackness, and white supremacy.
The process of terminating the European Transatlantic Trade in Africans (TTA) was long and drawn-out. Although Africans, including the enslaved had long resisted its operation, abolition has traditionally been presented as a benevolent act by the British state acting under pressure from the intellectual classes and humanitarian activists. But the campaign to end the TTA cannot be separated from the resistance struggle of the Africans themselves.In Saving Souls: The Struggle to end the Transatlantic Trade in Africans, the companion volume to Trading Souls, noted Caribbean historians Hilary Beckles and Verene Shepherd trace the African experience from capture, the horrors of the Middle Passage to liberation. Their story emphasises the contributions of the victims of the enslaved even while acknowledging the critical role of the British abolitionists. Readers will learn about: The structure and conduct of the trade in African people, Details of the resistance of Africans to capture, sale and transportation, The abolition movement - involving black and white, enslaved and free, male and female, Christian and non-Christian activists, Legacies of the 1807 Act, The final Abolition Acts, namely the 1805-1806 Order-in-Council and the 1807 Act are included as appendices for easy reference.
The purpose of Granville Sharpe's Cases on Slavery is twofold: first, to publish previously unpublished legal materials principally in three important cases in the 18th century on the issue of slavery in England, and specifically the status of black people who were slaves in the American colonies or the West Indies and who were taken to England by their masters. The unpublished materials are mostly verbatim transcripts made by shorthand writers commissioned by Granville Sharp, one of the first Englishmen to take up the cause of the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself. Other related unpublished material is also made available for the first time, including an opinion of an attorney general and some minor cases from the library of York Minster. On the slave ship Zong, there are transcripts of the original declaration, the deposition by the chief mate, James Kelsall and an extract from a manuscript that Professor Martin Dockray was working on before his untimely death. The second purpose, outlined in the Introduction, is to give a social and legal background to the cases and an analysis of the position in England of black servants/slaves brought to England and the legal effects of the cases, taking into account the new information provided by the transcripts. There was a conflict in legal authorities as to whether black servants remained slaves, or became free on arrival in England. Lord Mansfield, the chief justice of the court of King's Bench, was a central figure in all the cases and clearly struggled to come to terms with slavery. The material provides a basis for tracing the evolution of his thought on the subject. On the one hand, the huge profits from slave production in the West Indies flooded into England, slave owners had penetrated the leading institutions in England and the pro-slavery lobby was influential. On the other hand, English law had over time established rights and liberties which in the 18th century were seen by many as national characteristics. That tradition was bolstered by the ideas of the Enlightenment. By about the 1760s it had become clear that there was no property in the person, and by the 1770s that such servants could not be sent abroad without their consent, but whether they owed an obligation of perpetual service remained unresolved.
In Illegible Will Hershini Bhana Young engages with the archive of South African and black diasporic performance to examine the absence of black women's will from that archive. Young argues for that will's illegibility, given the paucity of materials outlining the agency of black historical subjects. Drawing on court documents, novels, photographs, historical records, websites, and descriptions of music and dance, Young shows how black will can be conjured through critical imaginings done in concert with historical research. She critically imagines the will of familiar subjects such as Sarah Baartman and that of obscure figures such as the eighteenth-century slave Tryntjie of Madagascar, who was executed in 1713 for attempting to poison her mistress. She also investigates the presence of will in contemporary expressive culture, such as the Miss Landmine Angola beauty pageant, placing it in the long genealogy of the freak show. In these capacious case studies Young situates South African performance within African diasporic circuits of meaning throughout Africa, North America, and South Asia, demonstrating how performative engagement with archival absence can locate that which was never recorded.
'More than lives up to the hype' Observer 'Set to become a publishing sensation' Kirsty Lang, BBC Front Row 'An astounding achievement' Sunday Times 'The lost giant of American literature' New Yorker June, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to his house and departs the southern state. And thereafter, the entire African-American population leave with him. The reaction that follows is told across a dozen chapters, each from the perspective of a different white townsperson. These are boys, girls, men and women; either liberal or conservative, bigoted or sympathetic - yet all of whom are grappling with this spontaneous, collective rejection of subordination. In 1962, aged just 24, William Melvin Kelley's debut novel A Different Drummer earned him critical comparisons to James Baldwin and William Faulkner. Fifty-five years later, author and journalist Kathryn Schulz happened upon the novel serendipitously and was inspired to write the New Yorker article 'The Lost Giant of American Literature', included as a foreword to this edition.
The Rankin family helped to bring over 2000 slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. This work helps the reader discover their world through the eyes of Adam, the oldest of the Rankin children.
During the era of the Atlantic slave trade, vibrant port cities became home to thousands of Africans in transit. Free and enslaved blacks alike crafted the necessary materials to support transoceanic commerce and labored as stevedores, carters, sex workers, and boarding-house keepers. Even though Africans continued to be exchanged as chattel, urban frontiers allowed a number of enslaved blacks to negotiate the right to hire out their own time, often greatly enhancing their autonomy within the Atlantic commercial system. In The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade, eleven original essays by leading scholars from the United States, Europe, and Latin America chronicle the black experience in Atlantic ports, providing a rich and diverse portrait of the ways in which Africans experienced urban life during the era of plantation slavery. Describing life in Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Africa, this volume illuminates the historical identity, agency, and autonomy of the African experience as well as the crucial role Atlantic cities played in the formation of diasporic cultures. By shifting focus away from plantations, this volume poses new questions about the nature of slavery in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, illustrating early modern urban spaces as multiethnic sites of social connectivity, cultural incubation, and political negotiation. Contributors: Trevor Burnard, Mariza de Carvalho Soares, Matt D. Childs, Kevin Dawson, Roquinaldo Ferreira, David Geggus, Jane Landers, Robin Law, David Northrup, Joao Jose Reis, James H. Sweet, Nicole von Germeten.
Twelve scholars representing a variety of academic fields contribute to this study of slavery in the French Caribbean colonies, which ranges historically from the 1770s to Haiti's declaration of independent statehood in 1804. Including essays on the impact of colonial slavery on France, the United States, and the French West Indies, this collection focuses on the events, causes, and effects of violent slave rebellions that occurred in Saint-Domingue, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. In one of the few studies to examine the Caribbean revolts and their legacy from a U.S. perspective, the contributors discuss the flight of island refugees to the southern cities of New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk, and Baltimore that branded the lower United States as "the extremity of Caribbean culture." Based on official records and public documents, historical research, literary works, and personal accounts, these essays present a detailed view of the lives of those who experienced this period of rebellion and change.
Tracing the lives and experiences of 100,000 Africans who landed in Sierra Leone having been taken off slave vessels by the British Navy following Britain's abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, this study focuses on how people, forcibly removed from their homelands, packed on to slave ships, and settled in Sierra Leone were able to rebuild new lives, communities, and collective identities in an early British colony in West Africa. Their experience illuminates both African and African diaspora history by tracing the evolution of communities forged in the context of forced migration and the missionary encounter in a prototypical post-slavery colonial society. A new approach to the major historical field of British anti-slavery, studied not as a history of legal victories (abolitionism) but of enforcement and lived experience (abolition), Richard Peter Anderson reveals the linkages between emancipation, colonization, and identity formation in the Black Atlantic.
In this book, Dennis C. Dickerson examines the long history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its intersection with major social movements over more than two centuries. Beginning as a religious movement in the late eighteenth century, the African Methodist Episcopal Church developed as a freedom advocate for blacks in the Atlantic World. Governance of a proud black ecclesia often clashed with its commitment to and resources for fighting slavery, segregation, and colonialism, thus limiting the full realization of the church's emancipationist ethos. Dickerson recounts how this black institution nonetheless weathered the inexorable demands produced by the Civil War, two world wars, the civil rights movement, African decolonization, and women's empowerment, resulting in its global prominence in the contemporary world. His book also integrates the history of African Methodism within the broader historical landscape of American and African-American history.
Today most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. Many Thousands Gone traces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early seventeenth century through the Revolution. In telling their story, Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life, reintegrates slaves into the history of the American working class and into the tapestry of our nation. Laboring as field hands on tobacco and rice plantations, as skilled artisans in port cities, or soldiers along the frontier, generation after generation of African Americans struggled to create a world of their own in circumstances not of their own making. In a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, Many Thousands Gone reveals the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king. We witness the transformation that occurred as the first generations of creole slaves--who worked alongside their owners, free blacks, and indentured whites--gave way to the plantation generations, whose back-breaking labor was the sole engine of their society and whose physical and linguistic isolation sustained African traditions on American soil. As the nature of the slaves' labor changed with place and time, so did the relationship between slave and master, and between slave and society. In this fresh and vivid interpretation, Berlin demonstrates that the meaning of slavery and of race itself was continually renegotiated and redefined, as the nation lurched toward political and economic independence and grappled with the Enlightenment ideals that had inspired its birth.
What happens when authorities you venerate condone something you know is wrong? Every major religion and philosophy once condoned or approved of slavery, but in modern times nothing is seen as more evil. Americans confront this crisis of authority when they erect statues of Founding Fathers who slept with their slaves. And Muslims faced it when ISIS revived sex slavery, justifying it with verses from the Quran and the practice of Muhammad. Exploring the moral and ultimately theological problem of slavery, Jonathan A.C. Brown traces how the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have tried to reconcile modern moral certainties with the infallibility of God's message. He lays out how Islam viewed slavery in theory, and the reality of how it was practiced across Islamic civilization. Finally, Brown carefully examines arguments put forward by Muslims for the abolition of slavery.
From Slavery to Aid engages two major themes in African historiography, the slow death of slavery and the evolution of international development, and reveals their interrelation in the social history of the region of Ader in the Nigerien Sahel. Benedetta Rossi traces the historical transformations that turned a society where slavery was a fundamental institution into one governed by the goals and methods of 'aid'. Over an impressive sweep of time - from the pre-colonial power of the Caliphate of Sokoto to the aid-driven governments of the present - this study explores the problem that has remained the central conundrum throughout Ader's history: how workers could meet subsistence needs and employers fulfil recruitment requirements in an area where natural resources are constantly exposed to the climatic hazards characteristic of the edge of the Sahara.
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 rubble of their enslaved past. In an original and dramatic work of scholarship, Tera Hunter traces their lives in the postbellum era and reveals the centrality of their labors to the African-American struggle for freedom and justice. Household laborers and washerwomen were constrained by their employers' domestic worlds but constructed their own world of work, play, negotiation, resistance, and community organization. Hunter follows African-American working women from their newfound optimism and hope at the end of the Civil War to their struggles as free domestic laborers in the homes of their former masters. We witness their drive as they build neighborhoods and networks and their energy as they enjoy leisure hours in dance halls and clubs. We learn of their militance and the way they resisted efforts to keep them economically depressed and medically victimized. Finally, we understand the despair and defeat provoked by Jim Crow laws and segregation and how they spurred large numbers of black laboring women to migrate north. Hunter weaves a rich and diverse tapestry of the culture and experience of black women workers in the post-Civil War south. Through anecdote and data, analysis and interpretation, she manages to penetrate African-American life and labor and to reveal the centrality of women at the inception--and at the heart--of the new south.
Susan Nye Hutchison was one of many teachers to venture south across the Mason-Dixon line in the Second Great Awakening. From 1815 to 1841, she kept journals about her career, family life, and encounters with slavery. Drawing on these journals and hundreds of other documents, Kim Tolley uses Hutchison's life to explore the significance of education in transforming American society in the early national period. Tolley examines the roles of ambitious, educated women like Hutchison who became teachers for economic, spiritual, and professional reasons. During this era, working women faced significant struggles when balancing career ambitions with social conventions about female domesticity. Hutchison's eventual position as head of a respected southern academy was as close to equity as any woman could achieve in any field. By recounting Hutchison's experiences - from praying with slaves and free blacks in the streets of Raleigh to establishing an independent school in Georgia to defying North Carolina law by teaching slaves to read - Tolley offers a rich microhistory of an antebellum teacher. Hutchison's story reveals broad social and cultural shifts and opens an important window onto the world of women's work in southern education.
In the School of Anti-Slavery, 1840-1866 is the first of six volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The collection documents the lives and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause. Their names were synonymous with woman suffrage in the United States and around the world as they mobilized thousands of women to fight for the right to a political voice.
Opening when Stanton was twenty-five and Anthony was twenty, and ending when Congress sent the Fourteenth Amendment to the states for ratification, this volume recounts a quarter of a century of staunch commitment to political change. Readers will enjoy an extraordinary collection of letters, speeches, articles, and diaries that tells a story -- both personal and public -- about abolition, temperance, and woman suffrage.
When all six volumes are complete, the Selected Papers of
Stanton and Anthony will contain over 2,000 texts transcribed from
their originals, the authenticity of each confirmed or explained,
with notes to allow for intelligent reading. The papers will
provide an invaluable resource for examining the formative years of
women's political participation in the United States. No library or
scholar of women's history should be without this original and
In Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity, M. Lindsay Kaplan expands the study of the history of racism through an analysis of the Christian concept of Jewish hereditary inferiority. Imagined as a figural slavery, this idea anticipates modern racial ideologies in creating a status of permanent, inherent subordination. Unlike other studies of early forms of racism, this book places theological discourses at the center of its analysis. It traces an intellectual history of the Christian doctrine of servitus Judaeorum, or Jewish enslavement, imposed as punishment for the crucifixion. This concept of hereditary inferiority, formulated in patristic and medieval exegesis through the figures of Cain, Ham, and Hagar, enters into canon law to enforce the spiritual, social, and economic subordination of Jews to Christians. Characterized as perpetual servitude, this status shapes the construction of Jews not only in canon law, but in medicine, natural philosophy, and visual art. By focusing on inferiority as a category of analysis, Kaplan sharpens our understanding of contemporary racism as well as its historical development. The damaging power of racism lies in the ascription of inferiority to a set of traits and not in bodily or cultural difference alone; in the medieval context, theological authority affirms discriminatory hierarchies as a reflection of divine will. Medieval theological discourses created a racial rationale of Jewish hereditary inferiority that also served to justify the servile status of Muslims and Africans. Kaplan's discussion of this history uncovers the ways in which racism circulated in pre-modernity and continues to do so in contemporary white supremacist discourses that similarly seek to subordinate these groups.
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