• Writing History: 19th Century African American Activism

    Charles Gleek (see profile)
    LLC African American, TC Race and Ethnicity Studies
    African American history, 19th-century African American literature, Print culture, Activism, African American cultural studies
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    Colored Conventions
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    Our work in this course will center around two questions. First, what were the material and social conditions for Black men, women, and children living in the territory that would become the United States, from roughly 1750 until on or about 1860? While slavery is likely the first concept that comes to mind, additional concepts such as racism, white supremacy, and what Cedric Robinson defines as “racial capitalism” offer nuanced ways to ways to address this complicated, first question. From here, our second question, In what ways, and with what effects, did Black men, women, and children work to overcome, resist, or otherwise avail themselves from their material and social conditions during the first part of the long 19th century? points to the various successes, failures, and missed opportunities Black people had in working against white supremacy, racial capitalism and other forms of oppression. Such work came in the form of a wide variety of activism inside and outside conventional politics; from writing, speaking, and organizing to emigration and revolts. What should become clear over the arc of our course is that Black people and organizations, sometimes along with their allies in indigenous, European, and white communities, were anything but passive or unsuccessful in their work towards liberation in facing racialized power structures in the United States. HIS 2050: Writing History | 19th Century African American Activism | Fall 2018 | Florida Atlantic University
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