The African-American Experience in Nineteenth-Century Connecticut examines and analyzes the African-American experience in Connecticut as it was portrayed through primary sources. In this book we can hear, sometimes for the first time, the voices of African Americans and others commenting on the complicated and explosive racial issues of their time.
Painters Robert Duncanson (ca. 1821–1872) and Edward Bannister (1828–1901) and sculptor Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. 1844–1907) each became accomplished African American artists. But as emerging art makers of color during the antebellum period, they experienced numerous incidents of racism that severely hampered their pursuits of a profession that many in the mainstream considered the highest form of social cultivation. Despite barriers imposed upon them due to their racial inheritance, these artists shared a common cause in demanding acceptance alongside their white contemporaries as capable painters and sculptors on local, regional, and international levels. Author Naurice Frank Woods Jr. provides an in-depth examination of the strategies deployed by Duncanson, Bannister, and Lewis that enabled them not only to overcome prevailing race and gender inequality, but also to achieve a measure of success that eventually placed them in the top rank of nineteenth-century American art. Unfortunately, the racism that hampered these three artists throughout their careers ultimately denied them their rightful place as significant contributors to the development of American art. Dominant art historians and art critics excluded them in their accounts of the period. In this volume, Woods restores their artistic legacies and redeems their memories, introducing these significant artists to rightful, new audiences.
Describes in rich detail African American daily life among free blacks in the North in the 1860s. Based on a treasure trove of more than two hundred personal letters written in the 1860s, Hopes and Expectations tells the story of three young African Americans in the North. Living on Marylands eastern shore, schoolteacher Rebecca Primus sent home weeklies to her parents in Hartford and also corresponded with friend Addie Brown, a domestic worker back home. Addie wrote voluminously to Rebecca, lamenting their separation and describing her struggle to achieve a semblance of security and stability. Around the same time, Rebeccas brother, Nelson, began writing home about his new life in Boston, as he set out to make a name and a career for himself as an artist. The letters describe their daily lives and touch on race, class, gender, religion, and politics, offering rare entry into individual black lives at that time. Through extensive archival research, Barbara J. Beeching also shows how the story of the Primus family intersects with changes over time in Hartfords black community and the country. Newspapers and census tracts, as well as probate, land, court, and vital records help her trace an arc of local black fortunes between 1830 and 1880. Seeking full equality, blacks sought refinement and respectability through home ownership, literacy, and social gains. One of the many paradoxes Beeching uncovers is that just as the Civil War was tearing the nation apart, a recognizable black middle class was emerging in Hartford. It is a story of individuals, family, and community, of expectation and disappointment, loss and endurance, change and continuity. This is a powerful book and a truly important story. Beeching provides a richly detailed survey of life in Connecticut, the political and racial climates at various historical moments, and the web of intraracial and interracial networks that informed the Primus family experiences. Multifaceted and thoroughly absorbing, Hopes and Expectations will reintroduce people to a New England that they thought they knew. Lois Brown, author of Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins: Black Daughter of the Revolution
African American theologians tend not to find philosophy as a meaningful tool to advance their theological positions. African Americans and Christianity offers an engaging and thorough bridge between African American theology and philosophy of religion.
For nearly 400 years, New England has held an important place in the development of American English, and "New England accents" are very well known in the popular imagination. While other projects have studied various dialect regions of New England, this is the first large-scale academic project since the 1930s to focus specifically on New England English as a whole. In New England English, James N. Stanford presents new variationist sociolinguistic research covering all six New England states, with detailed geographic, acoustic phonetic, and statistical analyses of recently collected data from over 1,600 New Englanders. Stanford and his team of Dartmouth students built this dataset over 8 years of face-to-face fieldwork and online audio recordings and questionnaires. Using acoustic phonetics, computational processing, and dialect maps, the book systematically documents major traditional New England dialect features and their current usage in terms of geography, age, gender, ethnicity, social class, and other factors. This dataset is interpreted in terms of William Labov's outward orientation of the language faculty, dialect levelling, convergence and divergence, and "Hub social geometry." The result is a wide-ranging empirical analysis and theoretical overview of this influential English dialect region.
"Long Hammering addresses the integral role that African Americans played in every aspect of Hudson Valley society, which historically is the embryo of New York history. From the time of the colonial period when enslaved African labor was vital tot he tremendous wealth New York generated as a British Colony, to the end of the 19th century when a more democratic society was, African American involvement was a historical fact." -- Publisher's description.
Upholds Ann Plato as a noteworthy nineteenth-century writer, while reexamining her life and writing from an American Indian perspective. Who was Ann Plato? Apart from circumstantial evidence, theres little information about the author of Essays; Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Poetry, published in 1841. Plato lived in a milieu of colored Hartford, Connecticut, in the early nineteenth century. Although long believed to have been African American herself, she may also, Ron Welburn argues, have been American Indian, like the father in her poem The Natives of America. Combining literary criticism, ethnohistory, and social history, Welburn uses Plato as an example of how Indians in the Long Island Sound region adapted and prevailed despite the contemporary rhetoric of Indian disappearance. This study seeks to raise Platos profile as an author as well as to highlight the dynamics of Indian resistance and isolation that have contributed to her enigmatic status as a literary figure. Hartfords Ann Plato and the Native Borders of Identity is a brilliant and fascinatingly imaginative work of research and speculation. The research is forbiddingly wide, deep, learned, determined, and resourceful. The book is fascinating as a work of speculative scholarship not only about Ann Plato but also about eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New England and Long Island American Indians, who continued to live more or less in the region of their ancestors, and often continued to uphold Indian culture, while at the same time disappearing from the written record. Welburns work will speak to audiences interested in American Indian studies, New England history, nineteenth-century African American history and literary studies, and the history of American poetry. Robert Dale Parker, editor of Changing Is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930
Long portrayed as a masculine endeavor, the African American struggle for progress often found expression through an unlikely literary figure: the black girl. Nazera Sadiq Wright uses heavy archival research on a wide range of texts about African American girls to explore this understudied phenomenon. As Wright shows, the figure of the black girl in African American literature provided a powerful avenue for exploring issues like domesticity, femininity, and proper conduct. The characters' actions, however fictional, became a rubric for African American citizenship and racial progress. At the same time, their seeming dependence and insignificance allegorized the unjust treatment of African Americans. Wright reveals fascinating girls who, possessed of a premature knowing and wisdom beyond their years, projected a courage and resiliency that made them exemplary representations of the project of racial advance and citizenship.
Explores how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans and documents African American history from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass.
In this newly expanded edition, more than 4,000 articles cover prominent African and African American individuals, events, trends, places, political movements, art forms, businesses, religions, ethnic groups, organizations, countries, and more.
"Dear Brother," Jane Manning James wrote to Joseph F. Smith in 1903, "I take this opportunity of writing to ask you if I can get my endowments and also finish the work I have begun for my dead.... Your sister in the Gospel, Jane E. James." A faithful Latter-day Saint since her conversion sixty years earlier, James had made this request several times before, to no avail, and this time she would be just as unsuccessful, even though most Latter-day Saints were allowed to participate in the endowment ritual in the temple as a matter of course. James, unlike most Mormons, was black. For that reason, she was barred from performing the temple rituals that Latter-day Saints believe are necessary to reach the highest degrees of glory after death. A free black woman from Connecticut, James positioned herself at the center of LDS history with uncanny precision. After her conversion, she traveled with her family and other converts from the region to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the LDS church was then based. There, she took a job as a servant in the home of Joseph Smith, the founder and first prophet of the LDS church. When Smith was killed in 1844, Jane found employment as a servant in Brigham Young's home. These positions placed Jane in proximity to Mormonism's most powerful figures, but did not protect her from the church's racially discriminatory policies. Nevertheless, she remained a faithful member until her death in 1908. Your Sister in the Gospel is the first scholarly biography of Jane Manning James or, for that matter, any black Mormon. Quincy D. Newell chronicles the life of this remarkable yet largely unknown figure and reveals why James's story changes our understanding of American history.