The Crucible of Black Criminality

By Dr. Douglas Flowe The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other African American men and women at the hands of the state in America have brought about a reckoning beyond the scope of anything seen before on the subject. However, in purpose and in spirit, the movement against police violence and the system of racial caste that surrounds and supports it … Continue reading The Crucible of Black Criminality

Advocates of Freedom: African American Activism in the British Isles

By Dr. Hannah-Rose Murray In 1838, formerly enslaved African American Moses Roper declared that “you have heard the slaveholder’s side of the story, now it is time for the slaves to speak.” Roper and numerous other Black activists emphasized an international philosophy of Black rights from their unique position on British soil, the basis of which rested on their literary, visual and oratorical testimony. As … Continue reading Advocates of Freedom: African American Activism in the British Isles

Reading These United States: Federal Literacy in the Early Republic, 1776-1830

By Dr Keri Holt In 1776, Benjamin Franklin designed an emblem to represent the newly declared union of independent states. Printed on the new Continental currency, this emblem depicts thirteen linked rings, each bearing the name of a state, with the resulting chain surrounding the words “We Are One.” Grammatically and visually, this statement is a paradox, asserting that something that is plural can, at … Continue reading Reading These United States: Federal Literacy in the Early Republic, 1776-1830

Against Sustainability: Reading Nineteenth-Century America in the Age of Climate Crisis

By Dr Michelle C. Neely As 2020 has unfolded, the United States has seemed to walk further and further off an apocalyptic cliff. Police violence and civil rights violations go unchecked, immigrant children remain imprisoned, a pandemic rages, federal environmental protections continue to be dismantled, the Arctic is on fire. It’s tempting to wish that we could somehow turn back the clock and return to … Continue reading Against Sustainability: Reading Nineteenth-Century America in the Age of Climate Crisis

Abolition, Anti-Catholicism, and the Complexity of George Bourne

By Dr. Ryan C. McIlhenny Historian James Brewer Stewart, author of Holy Warriors and founder of Historians Against Slavery, sent me an encouraging email about a review I did of a new anthology on Wendell Phillips for the Journal of the Early Republic. Knowing that Jim, a leading historian of American abolition, was editor emeritus of LSU’s reputable “Antislavery, Abolition, and Atlantic World” series, I … Continue reading Abolition, Anti-Catholicism, and the Complexity of George Bourne

American Civilisation and Its Jagged Frontier: The Depiction of the U.S.-Mexico Border As Rough Country

By Dr. Joel Zapata Anthropologist Victor M. Ortiz Gonzalez has noted that the United States’ popular culture continually represents the nation’s southern “border region as a ‘no-man’s-land.’ ”[1] In other words, within the American popular imaginary, the U.S.-Mexico border is at the frontier of the nation’s dominant—Anglo-American—social-cultural world. Unsurprisingly, contemporary right-wing American politicians that routinely espouse white supremist ideals have adopted such depictions of the … Continue reading American Civilisation and Its Jagged Frontier: The Depiction of the U.S.-Mexico Border As Rough Country

Massasoit in American Memory

By Dr. Lisa Blee and Dr. Jean M. O’Brien Among the remarkable events in direct response to the murder of George Floyd is a resurgent activism in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement around monuments to slavery, white supremacy, and colonialism. In Albuquerque, protestors took on the statue of Juan de Oñate, the despotic colonial governor who brutalized Pueblo peoples. Protestors threw a statue … Continue reading Massasoit in American Memory

Albion Tourgée on the Color Line

By Dr. DeLisa D. Hawkes Most people who are familiar with Albion Tourgée remember him within the context of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case that determined “separate but equal” constitutional. The interracial legal team that included Tourgée and the New Orleans leader Louis Martinet argued against “separate but equal,” but Tourgée’s legacy extends beyond legal history. He had an extensive career in political activism … Continue reading Albion Tourgée on the Color Line

Seeking freedom from slavery: settling Native American ancestry in colonial Connecticut

By Isabelle Laskaris On October 4th 1743, Stephen Gardiner wrote to the Justice of the Peace in New London, Connecticut, to complain that four of his slaves and servants had deserted his service the night before. He described them as Cesar, a mulatto man servant, Ann, a Spanish Indian Squaw, Ann an Indian girl, and Phillis, an Indian girl. Only a few days later, a … Continue reading Seeking freedom from slavery: settling Native American ancestry in colonial Connecticut

Ask an Americanist: Dr Amanda Bellows

Amanda Brickell Bellows is a lecturer in history at The New School. Her upcoming book American Slavery and Russian Serfdom in the Post-Emancipation Imagination will be out with UNC Press in June 2020 and is available for pre-orders on Amazon.   What brought you to your PhD topic that resulted in your upcoming monograph, American Slavery and Russian Serfdom in the Post-Emancipation Imagination?   American … Continue reading Ask an Americanist: Dr Amanda Bellows