The roots of African-American identity : memory and history in the antebellum free communities /
Elizabeth Rauh Bethel.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1997.
xiii, 242 p. ; 22 cm.
More Details
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1997.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-11-15:
In this exquisite investigation of continuity and discontinuity in the past as experienced and remembered, Bethel (sociology, Lander Univ., South Carolina) explores how blacks in the North from 1775 to 1860 reformulated their collective past into a politicized racial identity that informed a moral community of collective action. Bethel's evocative reading of the times and political possibilities and realities as blacks crafted a group identity to mobilize themselves and others offers a suggestive complement to historian James O. Horton's Free People of Color: Inside the African American Community (LJ 5/1/93) and his new In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community, and Protest among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860 (Oxford Univ., 1997). Highly recommended for collections on the pre-Civil War United States or African Americans.‘Thomas Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Library Journal, November 1997
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Main Description
Spanning the eight decades between the American Revolution and the Civil War, The Roots of African-American Identity focuses on the lives of African Americans in the nominally free northern and western states. Examining race and the construction of a politicized racial identity, this book explores how a group of marginalized people crafted a uniquely New World ethnic identity that informed popular African-American historical consciousness. Elizabeth Rauh Bethel examines the way in which that consciousness fueled colletive efforts to claim and live a promised but undelivered democratic freedom, helping readers to understand how African Americans reformulated and perceived their collective past. Bethel also reveals how this vision of freedom and historical consciousness shaped African-American participation in the Reconstruction, formed the spiritual and ideological foundation for the modern Pan-African movement, and provided the historical legacy for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Prologue: The Revolution Remembered: The Fifth of March, 1858p. 1
Fashioning a Moral Community, 1775-1800
"In the Bowels of a Free and Christian Country": Living in the Revolutionary Erap. 29
"Sons and Daughters of Distress": A Theology of Liberationp. 53
Environments of Memory, 1800-1835
From Laws and Revolutions, Freedom Lieuxp. 85
Africa Envisioned, Africa Foundp. 97
Moral Community, Ethnic Identity, and Political Actionp. 119
History and the Politics of Memory, 1835-1860
Haiti, Canada, and a Pan-African Visionp. 145
Biography, Narrative, and Memory: The Construction of a Popular Historical Consciousnessp. 167
Epilogue: Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Empire-Buildingp. 185
Notesp. 195
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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