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Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State by
Publication Date: 2023-02-21
Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home" has been designated as the official state song and performed at the Kentucky Derby for decades. In light of the ongoing social justice movement to end racial inequality, many have questioned whether the song should be played at public events, given its inaccurate depiction of slavery in the state. In Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State, editor Gerald L. Smith presents a collection of powerful essays that uncover the long-forgotten stories of pain, protest, and perseverance of African Americans in Kentucky.
Undoing Slavery by
Publication Date: 2023-02-01
Undoing Slavery excavates cultural, political, medical, and legal history to understand the abolitionist focus on the body on its own terms. Motivated by their conviction that the physical form of the human body was universal and faced with the growing racism of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century science, abolitionists in North America and Britain focused on undoing slavery's harm to the bodies of the enslaved. Their pragmatic focus on restoring the bodily integrity and wellbeing of enslaved people threw up many unexpected challenges. This book explores those challenges.
A Different Mirror by
Publication Date: 2023-03-07
Ronald Takaki's beloved revisionist history of America, praised by Howard Zinn as "a bold and refreshing new approach to our national history," now featuring a foreword from Clint Smith, author of the award-winning #1 bestseller How the Word Is Passed. Ronald Takaki's "brilliant revisionist history of America" (Publishers Weekly) is a landmark work of American history retells American history from the bottom up, through the lives of many minorities  who helped create this country's mighty economy and rich mosaic culture. A Different Mirror brilliantly illuminates our country's defining strengths as it reveals America as a nation peopled by the world.
Scenes of Subjection by
Publication Date: 2022-10-25
In Scenes of Subjection--Hartman's first book, now revised and expanded--her singular talents and analytical framework turn away from the "terrible spectacle" and toward the forms of routine terror and quotidian violence characteristic of slavery, illuminating the intertwining of injury, subjugation, and selfhood even in abolitionist depictions of enslavement. By attending to the withheld and overlooked at the margins of the historical archive, Hartman radically reshapes our understanding of history, in a work as resonant today as it was on first publication, now for a new generation of readers.
Medicine, Science, and Making Race in Civil War America by
Publication Date: 2023-03-28
This social and cultural history of Civil War medicine and science sheds important light on the question of why and how anti-Black racism survived the destruction of slavery. During the war, white Northerners promoted ideas about Black inferiority under the guise of medical and scientific authority. Drawing on archives of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, recollections of Civil War soldiers and medical workers, and testimonies from Black Americans, Leslie A. Schwalm exposes the racist ideas and practices that shaped wartime medicine and science.
The Most Absolute Abolition by
Publication Date: 2022-08-17
Jesse Olsavsky?s The Most Absolute Abolition tells the dramatic story of how vigilance committees organized the Underground Railroad and revolutionized the abolitionist movement. These groups, based primarily in northeastern cities, defended Black neighborhoods from police and slave catchers. As the urban wing of the Underground Railroad, they helped as many as ten thousand refugees, building an elaborate network of like-minded sympathizers across boundaries of nation, gender, race, and class.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory by
Publication Date: 2022-10-01
Going back to England's rise as a colonial power and its use of slavery in its American colonies, Steven L. Dundas examines how racism and the institution of slavery influenced the political and social structure of the United States, beginning with the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory is the story of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders; slaves and slaveholders; preachers, politicians, and propagandists; fire-eaters and firebrands; civil rights leaders and champions of white supremacy; and the ordinary people in the South and the North whose lives were impacted by it all.
Behind the Big House by
Publication Date: 2022-03-22
Behind the Big House gives readers a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to interpret the difficult history of slavery in the U.S. South. The book explores Jodi Skipper's eight-year collaboration with the Behind the Big House program, a community-based model used at local historic sites to address slavery in the collective narrative of U.S. history and culture. In laying out her experiences through an autoethnographic approach, Skipper seeks to help other activist scholars of color negotiate the nuances of place, the academic public sphere, and its ambiguous systems of reward, recognition, and evaluation.
African Town by
Publication Date: 2022-01-04
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Publication Date: 2022-01-11
The Water Dancer meets The Prophets in this spare, gripping, and beautifully rendered novel exploring love and friendship among a group of enslaved Black strivers in the mid-19th century. In an elegant work of monumental imagination that will reorient how we think of the legacy of America's shameful past, Jabari Asim presents a beautiful, powerful, and elegiac novel that examines intimacy and longing in the quarters while asking a vital question: What would happen if an enslaved person risked everything for love?
Black Cloud Rising by
Publication Date: 2022-02-22
Already excerpted in the New Yorker, Black Cloud Rising is a compelling and important historical novel that takes us back to an extraordinary moment when enslaved men and women were shedding their bonds and embracing freedom . With powerful depictions of the bonds formed between fighting men and heartrending scenes of sacrifice and courage, Black Cloud Rising offers a compelling and nuanced portrait of enslaved men and women crossing the threshold to freedom.
Carolina Built by
Publication Date: 2022-02-22
Josephine N. Leary is determined to build a life of her own and a future for her family. When she moves to Edenton, North Carolina from the plantation where she was born, she is free, newly married, and ready to follow her dreams. "Filled with passion and perseverance, Josephine Leary is frankly a woman that everyone should know" (Sadeqa Johnson, author of Yellow Wife) and her story speaks to the part of us that dares to dream bigger, tear down whatever stands in our way, and build something better for the loved ones we leave behind.
Escape to the City by
Publication Date: 2022-10-04
Viola Franziska Muller examines runaways who camouflaged themselves among the free Black populations in Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans, and Richmond. In the urban South, they found shelter, work, and other survival networks that enabled them to live in slaveholding territory, shielded and supported by their host communities in an act of collective resistance to slavery. Spanning from the 1810s to the start of the Civil War, Muller reveals how urbanization, opportunities, and the interconnectedness of free and enslaved Black people in each city determined how successfully runaways could remain invisible to authorities.
Almost Dead by
Publication Date: 2022-05-01
Beginning in the late seventeenth century and concluding with the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, Almost Dead reveals how the thousands of captives who lived, bled, and resisted in the Black Urban Atlantic survived to form dynamic communities. Michael Lawrence Dickinson uses cities with close commercial ties to shed light on similarities, variations, and linkages between urban Atlantic slave communities in mainland America and the Caribbean.
American Inheritance by
Publication Date: 2023-01-17
New attention from historians and journalists is raising pointed questions about the founding period: was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery, and was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? We now have that history in Edward J. Larson's insightful synthesis of the founding. Larson's narrative delivers poignant moments that deepen our understanding: we witness New York's tumultuous welcome of Washington as liberator through the eyes of Daniel Payne, a Black man who had escaped enslavement at Mount Vernon two years before. Indeed, throughout Larson's history it is the voices of Black Americans that prove the most convincing of all on the urgency of liberty.
We Will Be Free by
Publication Date: 2023-02-01
Sojourner Truth's powerful voice calls to us through this evocative narrative of faith in action--and her words are more relevant than ever. Though born into slavery, Sojourner Truth would defy the limits placed upon her as a Black woman to become one of the nineteenth century's most renowned female preachers and civil rights advocates. In We Will Be Free, Nancy Koester chronicles her spiritual journey as an enslaved woman, a working mother, and an itinerant preacher and activist.
Phillis Wheatley Peters by
Publication Date: 2023-04-15
This new edition of Phillis Wheatley Peters is the first full-length biography of the poet whose remarkable odyssey took her from being a child enslaved in Africa to becoming an international celebrity by the time she was in her early twenties, only to fall into relative obscurity when she died in 1784 at barely the age of thirty. Grounded in extensive primary research, Phillis Wheatley Peters recovers her life and times and reclaims the recognition and status she deserves as a heroic literary and political figure in an age of heroes.
South Flight by
Publication Date: 2022-02-15
In her debut poetry collection, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith takes inspiration from Oklahoma Black history. In the wake of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Jim Waters makes the difficult decision to leave behind his lover, Beatrice Vernadene Chapel, who as a Black woman must navigate the dangerous climate that produced the Jim Crow South and Red Summer. The poetry collection South Flight is a eulogy, a blues, an unabashed love letter, and ragtime to the history of resistance, migration, and community in Black Oklahoma.
Administering Freedom by
Publication Date: 2022-10-04
This book offers the definitive history of how formerly enslaved men and women pursued federal benefits from the Civil War to the New Deal and, in the process, transformed themselves from a stateless people into documented citizens. Based on extensive archival research in rarely used collections, Dale Kretz uncovers surprising stories of political mobilization among tens of thousands of Black claimants for military bounties, back payments, and pensions, finding victories in an unlikely place: the federal bureaucracy.
Dismal Freedom by
Publication Date: 2022-07-12
The massive and foreboding Great Dismal Swamp sprawls over 2,000 square miles and spills over parts of Virginia and North Carolina. From the early seventeenth century, the nearly impassable Dismal frustrated settlement. However, what may have been an impediment to the expansion of slave society became an essential sanctuary for many of those who sought to escape it. In the depths of the Dismal, thousands of maroons--people who had emancipated themselves from enslavement and settled beyond the reach of enslavers--established new lives of freedom in a landscape deemed worthless and inaccessible by whites.
Enslavement in Kentucky by
Publication Date: 2022-06-06
Between the time Daniel Boone led his settlers through the Cumberland Gap and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery was prominent in the Commonwealth. In several constitutional conventions, founders and lawmakers questioned the legality and appropriateness of the issue. At every possible juncture, wealthy slaveholders defended the institution, while abolitionists fought one another over the question of slavery. As a result of the fighting, the Thirteenth Amendment was not ratified until the 1970s. Author and historian Marshall Myers dives deep into the means both slaveholders and abolitionists used to secure a policy that supported their beliefs.
Black Ghost of Empire by
Publication Date: 2022-04-19
In this paradigm-altering book, acclaimed historian and professor Kris Manjapra identifies five types of emancipations across the globe and reveals that their perceived failures were not failures at all, but the predictable outcomes of policies designed first and foremost to preserve the status quo of racial oppression. Black Ghost of Empire will rewire readers' understanding of the world in which we live. Timely, lucid, and crucial to our understanding of contemporary society, this book shines a light into the gap between the idea of slavery's end and the reality of its continuation--exposing to whom a debt was paid and to whom a debt is owed.
African Founders by
Publication Date: 2022-05-31
In this sweeping, foundational work, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer draws on extensive research to show how enslaved Africans and their descendants enlarged American ideas of freedom in varying ways in different regions of the early United States. African Founders explores the little-known history of how enslaved people from different regions of Africa interacted with colonists of European origins to create new regional cultures in the colonial United States. This landmark work of history will transform our understanding of America's origins.
South to America by
Publication Date: 2022-01-25
In South to America, Imani Perry shows that the meaning of American is inextricably linked with the South, and that our understanding of its history and culture is the key to understanding the nation as a whole. This is the story of a Black woman and native Alabaman returning to the region she has always called home and considering it with fresh eyes. Her journey is full of detours, deep dives, and surprising encounters with places and people. She renders Southerners from all walks of life with sensitivity and honesty, sharing her thoughts about a troubling history and the ritual humiliations and joys that characterize so much of Southern life.
Scars on the Land by
Publication Date: 2022-04-12
Scars on the Land is the first comprehensive history of American slavery to examine how the environment fundamentally formed enslaved people's lives and how slavery remade the Southern landscape. Over two centuries, from the establishment of slavery in the Chesapeake to the Civil War, one simple calculation had profound consequences. Although typically treated separately, slavery and the environment naturally intersect in complex and powerful ways, leaving lasting effects from the period of emancipation through modern-day reckonings with racial justice.
The Creole Rebellion by
Publication Date: 2022-03-01
The Creole Rebellion tells the suspenseful story of a successful mutiny on board the slave ship Creole. En route for a New Orleans slave-auction block in November 1841, nineteen captives mutinied, killing one man and injuring several others. After taking control of the vessel, mutineer Madison Washington forced the crewmen to sail to the Bahamas. Despite much local hysteria upon their arrival, all of the 135 slaves aboard the ship won their freedom there. The revolt significantly fueled and amplified the slave debate within a divided nation that was already hurtling toward a Civil War.
The Last Slave Ship by
Publication Date: 2022-01-25
The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day--by the journalist who discovered the ship's remains. From these parallel stories emerges a profound depiction of America as it struggles to grapple with the traumatic past of slavery and the ways in which racial oppression continue to this day. And yet, at its heart, it remains optimistic--an epic tale of one community's triumphs over great adversity and a celebration of the power of human curiosity to uncover the truth about our past and heal its wounds.
Chained to History by
Publication Date: 2022-02-15
From the Age of Revolutions through the American Civil War, slavery was a constant factor in shaping US relations with the Atlantic World and beyond. Chained to History addresses this critical topic in its complete scope and shows the immoral practice of human bondage to have informed how the United States re-entered the community of nations after 1865.