Tag: African American history

The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

Images of the “migrant caravans” heading north from Honduras, through Guatemala and Mexico and toward the United States, are now familiar to us all. There have been other “migrant caravans” from Central America in the past, but none have registered in American media and politics quite like the one that ...
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The Mystery of William Jones, An Enslaved Man Owned by Ulysses S. Grant

The Mystery of William Jones, An Enslaved Man Owned by Ulysses S. Grant

On March 29, 1859, Ulysses S. Grant went to the St. Louis Courthouse to attend to a pressing legal matter. That day Grant signed a manumission paper freeing William Jones, an enslaved African American man that he had previously acquired from his father-in-law, "Colonel" Frederick F. Dent. Described as being ...
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Shaping Public Remembrances of Abolition and Emancipation: Memory in the Post-Emancipation Era at the 2018 SHA

Today we share the last of our conference reports on the November 2018 annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, held in Birmingham. Thank you for following along with us as these four reporters shared details about these fascinating and thought-provoking panels. When one attempts to explain to non-historians that ...
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Spatial Roots, Lawsuits, and Leisurely Pursuits: A SHA 2018 Recap

Spatial Roots, Lawsuits, and Leisurely Pursuits: A SHA 2018 Recap

Morning panels on the last day of conferences can be difficult. But a Sunday morning panel at the SHA 2018 Annual Meeting offered refreshing perspectives on Reconstruction Studies scholarship. The three panelists of “Emancipationist Memory and Radical Dreams of Freedom: New Directions in African American History of the Reconstruction Era” ...
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Congressman Charles Hays and the Civil Rights Act of 1875

Congressman Charles Hays and the Civil Rights Act of 1875

The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution dramatically transformed American society during the Reconstruction era. The amendments abolished slavery, established the concepts of birthright citizenship and equal protection of the laws, and granted all men the right to vote, regardless of color. For most members of the ...
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Editor’s Note: September 2018 Issue

The September issue of The Journal of the Civil War Era will soon be arriving in your mailboxes. For a preview of the excellent work within its pages, see our editor's note reprinted below. This volume combines exciting new work in the military history of the Civil War with essays ...
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The Contested Meanings of the Fourteenth Amendment

This weekend, we share the guest editor's conclusion to our roundtable on the Fourteenth Amendment. Earlier contributions can be found in order here, here, here, here, and here. Thank you for following along with us as we reevaluated and commemorated the amendment's 150th anniversary. Last Sunday, I gave a public ...
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Erasing Dred Scott's Shadow

Erasing Dred Scott’s Shadow

Today we are publishing Hilary Green's contribution to our Fourteenth Amendment roundtable. Previous contributions to this roundtable can be found here, here, and here. The final post and conclusion can be found here and here. Amid the chaos of the current political moment, the July 9, 2018, sesquicentennial anniversary ...
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“Though Declared to be American Citizens”: The Colored Convention Movement, Black Citizenship, and the Fourteenth Amendment

“Though Declared to be American Citizens”: The Colored Convention Movement, Black Citizenship, and the Fourteenth Amendment

Today we share the second installment of our Fourteenth Amendment roundtable. You can find the guest editor's introduction here, and the first contribution here. Subsequent contributions, including the conclusion, are available here, here, and here. Past struggles over the meaning of citizenship speak to us today. The question of ...
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The Roots of Reconstruction

The Roots of Reconstruction

Today we share the first contribution to our scholarly roundtable on the Fourteenth Amendment. The guest editor's introduction and conclusion can be found here and here. Subsequent posts can be found here, here, and here. In the decades before the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, African American activists helped ...
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A Muster Roundtable on the Fourteenth Amendment

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[1] On July 9, 1868, one of the Reconstruction Era’s boldest innovations became law. Birthright citizenship, equal protection of the laws, and voting rights entered the constitutional pantheon, pointing the way forward for a nation that had been ...
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A Recap of 2018 CLAW’s “Freedoms Gained and Lost” Conference

The 2018 Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) conference is in the books. Reconstruction-era scholars, museum professionals, and non-academics converged on the city of Charleston for an insightful and productive conference. Though the chronology debate remains unresolved, the 2018 CLAW conference was one of the most important conferences on Reconstruction ...
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Editor’s Note: June 2018 Issue

When Judy Giesberg asked me to guest edit a special issue on abolition and solicit essays that would showcase new directions in abolition studies, I welcomed the opportunity. For a field that has been ploughed thoroughly—from global syntheses of the transition from slavery to freedom in the western world by ...
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“Starbucks is Not Just a Place To Buy a Cup of Coffee”: Race and the Boundaries of Urban Public Life

“Starbucks is Not Just a Place To Buy a Cup of Coffee”: Race and the Boundaries of Urban Public Life

When Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, two young African American entrepreneurs, entered a Starbucks coffee shop on April 12, 2018, for a business meeting in downtown Philadelphia, neither expected to be caught in the boundary between urban public and private space. The two men arrived at the café and awaited ...
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Race, Citizenship, and a Search for Intellectual Honesty

Race, Citizenship, and a Search for Intellectual Honesty

Perhaps I’ve been wrong about African American citizenship. The anniversary year of the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification is upon us. 2018 marks 150 years since birthright citizenship was constitutionalized. I’ve told this story many times, even recounting it in an article for the Journal of the Civil War Era.[1] The Fourteenth Amendment ...
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Reconstruction Scholars’ Public Engagement: Why It Matters

The recent Alabama senatorial race raised the specter of historians’ role in public debates. After suggesting antebellum slavery as a period of American’s greatness, one candidate dismissed the Reconstruction-era amendments and other amendments designed to create “a more perfect union” (except for the Bill of Rights).[1] Post-election demographic analyses revealed ...
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