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Full-Text Articles in United States History

"Go In De Wilderness": Evading The "Eyes Of Others" In The Slave Songs, Erik Nielson Mar 2011

"Go In De Wilderness": Evading The "Eyes Of Others" In The Slave Songs, Erik Nielson

School of Professional and Continuing Studies Faculty Publications

This essay explores the trope of the wilderness in the slave spirituals, arguing that it functions to recreate symbolically the natural landscape into which slaves regularly took refuge in order to elude white surveillance. Drawing on a variety of sources, it considers the unique surveillance culture in the antebellum South, its effect on the everyday lives of the slaves, and the ways in which the slaves used their natural surroundings to avoid it. It then uses a close analysis of the song "Go in the Wilderness " as a point of departure for a broader discussion of the way the wilderness ...


Church Burnings, Eric S. Yellin Jan 2011

Church Burnings, Eric S. Yellin

History Faculty Publications

On 15 September 1963 a bomb exploded in the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. The ensuing fire and death of four little girls placed the violence of white supremacy on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers. It also entered the 16th Street Church into a long history of attacks against houses of worship in the American South. Though churches burn for any number of reasons, including accident and insurance fraud, church arson in southern culture has frequently been associated with a symbolic assault on a community’s core institution.


‘Broken Brotherhood: The Rise And Fall Of The National Afro-American Council,’ By Benjamin R. Justesen, Eric S. Yellin Jan 2010

‘Broken Brotherhood: The Rise And Fall Of The National Afro-American Council,’ By Benjamin R. Justesen, Eric S. Yellin

History Faculty Publications

The dominance of Booker T. Washington and the loyalty of most African Americans to the Republican Party are often mistaken as markers of black political unanimity at the turn of the twentieth century. Even worse, they are assumed to stand for the whole of African American political life. Benjamin R. Justesen’s story of the struggles to establish and sustain the National Afro-American Council should serve as an important reminder of the tensions, diversity, and energy within black politics in this period. The reminder is so important, and so potential productive, that one wishes that Broken Brotherhood: The Rise and ...


Saving Savannah: The City And The Civil War (Book Review), Edward L. Ayers Dec 2009

Saving Savannah: The City And The Civil War (Book Review), Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

Review of the book, Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War by Jacqueline Jones. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.


Colin Powell's Life Story As A 'Good Black' Narrative, Mari Boor Tonn Jan 2006

Colin Powell's Life Story As A 'Good Black' Narrative, Mari Boor Tonn

Rhetoric and Communication Studies Faculty Publications

The versions of Powell’s life examined in this chapter contain two overarching features ethnographers claim are means by which immigrant blacks work to accrue “good” black status. First, their emphasis on Powell as the son of industrious Jamaican immigrants comports with the common practice ethnographers locate among second-generation black immigrants of consciously telegraphing their ethnic heritage as a means of “filtering” themselves for the dominant culture so that they can ward off downward social mobility still linked to a black racial identity in the United States. The inclusion of ancestry in life stories by political hopefuls is not in ...


Why Were The Railroads The "Contested Terrain" Of Race Relations In The Postwar South?, Edward L. Ayers Jan 2002

Why Were The Railroads The "Contested Terrain" Of Race Relations In The Postwar South?, Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

Most of the debates about race relations focused on the railroads of the New South. Travel was a different story, for members of both races had no choice but to use the same railroads. As the number of railroads proliferated in the 1880s, as the number of stations quickly mounted, as dozens of counties got on a line for the first time, as previously isolated areas found themselves connected to towns and cities with different kinds of black people and different kinds of race relations, segregation became a matter of statewide attention.


The Great Valley And The Meaning Of The Civil War, Edward L. Ayers Oct 2000

The Great Valley And The Meaning Of The Civil War, Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

To understand the coming of the Civil War, then, we need to pick up the story before Fort Sumter and to carry it deeper than national events. We need to understand both the advocated of conflict and those who sought to avoid it regardless of the cost. We need to understand the communities people fought to defend, the institutions that held them together and that drove them apart.


Rethinking Slavery And Freedom (Book Reviews), Edward L. Ayers Oct 1999

Rethinking Slavery And Freedom (Book Reviews), Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

Review essay of the following books:

Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America by Ira Berlin.

Freedom's Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War edited by Ira Berlin, Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland.


The South, The West, And The Rest, Edward L. Ayers Jan 1994

The South, The West, And The Rest, Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

A response to the essay, Constructed Province: History and the Making of the Last American West by David M. Emmons. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.


W.J. Cash, The New South And The Rhetoric Of History, Edward L. Ayers Jan 1992

W.J. Cash, The New South And The Rhetoric Of History, Edward L. Ayers

History Faculty Publications

Despite the attention devoted to the fiery early chapters of The Mind of the South, where Cash's language and audacity take us by surprise, the heart of the book lies in the New South. Cash wrote above all, I think, to explain why the white Southerners he knew--those in the cotton mill country of the Carolina Piedmont--behaved the way they did. The years after Reconstruction consume two-thirds of Cash's book because those are the years that troubled him, that posed the problems he felt most acutely.