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Document Essay About Emancipation Proclamation Using The The "Freedom On My Mind"M Book

Freedom on My Mind A History of African Americans with Documents


Deborah Gray White

Rutgers University

Mia Bay

Rutgers University

Waldo E. Martin Jr.

University of California, Berkeley


FOR BEDFORD/ST. MARTIN’S Vice President, Editorial, Macmillan Learning Humanities: Edwin Hill Publisher for History: Michael Rosenberg Senior Executive Editor for History: William J. Lombardo Director of Development for History: Jane Knetzger Developmental Editor: Jennifer Jovin Editorial Assistant: Lexi DeConti Senior Production Editor: Rosemary Jaffe Media Producer: Michelle Camisa Production Supervisor: Robert Cherry History Marketing Manager: Melissa Famiglietti Copy Editor: Arthur Johnson Indexer: Leoni Z. McVey Cartography: Mapping Specialists, Ltd. Photo Editor: Cecilia Varas Photo Researcher: Bruce Carson Permissions Editor: Eve Lehmann Senior Art Director: Anna Palchik Text Design: Boynton Hue Studio Cover Design: John Callahan Cover Photos: Top to bottom: Olaudah Equiano: Portrait of an African, c. 1757–1760 (oil on canvas), Ramsay, Allan (1713–1784) (attr. to)/Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, Devon, UK/Bridgeman Images; Harriet Tubman: Lindsley, H. B., photographer (Harriet Tubman, full-length portrait, standing with hands on back of a chair) between c. 1860 and 1875. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2003674596; Madame C. J. Walker: The Granger Collection, New York; Shirley Chisholm: © Everett Collection Historical/Alamy Stock Photo; U.S. President Barack Obama: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Copyright © 2017, 2013 by Bedford/St. Martin’s.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except as may be expressly permitted by the applicable copyright statutes or in writing by the Publisher.

For information, write: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

ISBN 978-1-319-06604-8 (ePub)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Acknowledgments and copyrights appear on the same page as the text and art selections they cover; these acknowledgments and copyrights constitute an extension of the copyright page.



Preface for Instructors Why This Book This Way

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” Written in April 1963 while he was incarcerated for participating in a nonviolent protest against racial segregation, King’s letter was a rebuttal to white religious leaders who condemned such protests as unwise and untimely. King’s understanding of freedom also summarizes the remarkable history of the many generations of African Americans whose experiences are chronicled in this book. Involuntary migrants to America, the Africans who became African Americans achieved freedom from slavery only after centuries of struggle, protest, and outright revolt. Prior to the Civil War, most were unfree inhabitants of a democratic republic that took shape around the ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Although largely exempted from these ideals, African Americans fought for them.

Writing of these enslaved noncitizens in the first chapter of The Souls of Black Folk (1903), black historian W. E. B. Du Bois proclaimed, “Few men ever worshipped Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro.” Du Bois saw a similar spirit among his contemporaries: He was certain that “there are to-day no truer exponents of the pure human spirit of the Declaration of Independence than the American Negroes.” Yet Du Bois lived in an era when freedom was still the “unattained ideal.” Segregated and disfranchised in the South, and subject to racial exploitation and discrimination throughout the nation, black people still sought “the freedom of life and limb, the freedom to work and think, the freedom to love and aspire.” Moreover, as long as black people were not free, America could not be the world’s beacon of liberty. The black freedom struggle would continue, remaking the nation as a whole.


Our Approach Like Du Bois, we, the authors of Freedom on My Mind, take African Americans’ quest for freedom as the central theme of African American history and explore all dimensions of that quest, situated as it must be in the context of American history. Our perspective is that African American history complicates American history rather than diverging from it. This idea is woven into our narrative, which records the paradoxical experiences of a group of people at once the most American of Americans — in terms of their long history in America, their vital role in the American economy, and their enormous impact on American culture — and at the same time the Americans most consistently excluded from the American dream. Juxtaposed against American history as a whole, this is a study of a group of Americans who have had to fight too hard for freedom yet have been systematically excluded from many of the opportunities that allowed other groups to experience the United States as a land of opportunity. This text encourages students to think critically and analytically about African American history and the historical realities behind the American dream.

The following themes and emphases are central to our approach:

The principal role of the black freedom struggle in the development of the American state. Our approach necessitates a study of the troubled relationship between African Americans and the American democratic state. Freedom on My Mind underscores the disturbing fact that our democracy arose within the context of a slaveholding society, though it ultimately gave way to the democratic forces unleashed by the Revolution that founded the new nation and the Civil War that reaffirmed federal sovereignty. Exempt from the universalist language of the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal” — African Americans have been, as Du Bois insightfully noted, “a concrete test of the underlying principles of the great republic.” Most vividly illustrated during the political upheavals of Reconstruction and the civil rights movement — which is often called America’s second Reconstruction — African American activism has been crucial to the evolution of American democratic institutions.

The diversity of African Americans and the African American experience. Any study of the African American freedom struggle must recognize the wide diversity of African Americans who participated in it, whether they did so through open rebellion and visible social protest; through more covert means of defiance, disobedience, and dissent; or simply by surviving and persevering in the face of overwhelming odds. Complicating any conceptions students might have of a single-minded, monolithic African American collective, Freedom on My Mind is mindful of black diversity and the ways and means that gender, class, and ethnicity — as well as region, culture, and politics — shaped the black experience and the struggle for freedom. The book explores African Americans’ search for freedom in slave rebellions, everyday resistance to slavery, the abolitionist movement, Reconstruction politics, post-emancipation labor struggles, the great migration, military service, civil rights activism, and the black power movement. It shows how American democracy was shaped by African Americans’ search for, as Du Bois put it, “human opportunity” — and the myriad forms and characters that this search assumed.

An emphasis on culture as a vital force in black history. Freedom on My Mind also illuminates the rich and self-affirming culture blacks established in response to their exclusion from and often adversarial relationship with American institutions — the life Du Bois metaphorically characterized as “behind the veil.” The rhythms


and structure of black social and religious life, the contours of black educational struggles, the music Du Bois described as the “greatest gift of the Negro people” to the American nation, the parallel institutions built as a means of self-affirmation and self-defense — all of these are examined in the context of African Americans’ quest for freedom, escape from degradation, and inclusion in the nation’s body politic.

A synthesis that makes black history’s texture and complexity clear. While culture is central to Freedom on My Mind, we offer an analytical approach to African American culture that enables students to see it as a central force that both shaped and reflected other historical developments, rather than as a phenomenon in a vacuum. How do we process black art — poetry, music, paintings, novels, sculptures, quilts — without understanding the political, economic, and social conditions that these pieces express? When spirituals, jazz, the blues, and rap flow from the economic and social conditions experienced by multitudes of blacks, how can we not understand black music as political? Indeed, African American culture, politics, and identity are inextricably entwined in ways that call for an approach to this subject that blends social, political, economic, religious, and cultural history. Such distinctions often seem arbitrary in American history as a whole and are impossible in chronicling the experiences of African Americans. How can we separate the religious and political history of people whose church leaders have often led their communities from the pulpit and the political stump? Therefore, Freedom on My Mind sidesteps such divisions in favor of a synthesis that privileges the sustained interplay among culture, politics, economics, religion, and social forces in the African American experience.

Twenty-first-century scholarship for today’s classroom. Each chapter offers a synthesis of the most up-to- date historiography and historiographical debates in a clear narrative style. So much has changed since Du Bois pioneered the field of African American history. Once relegated to black historians and the oral tradition, African American history as a scholarly endeavor flowered with the social history revolt of the 1960s, when the events of the civil rights movement drew new attention to the African American past and the social upheaval of the 1960s inspired historians to recover the voices of the voiceless. Women’s history also became a subject of serious study during this era, and as a result of all of these changes, we now survey an American history that has been reconstituted by nearly a half century of sustained attention to race, class, and gender.

Drawing on the most recent scholarship, this text not only will deepen students’ understanding of the interconnectedness of African American and American history but also will link African American struggles for political and civil rights, individual autonomy, religious freedom, economic equity, and racial justice to other Americans: white, red, yellow, and brown. As Americans, these groups shared a world subject to similar structural forces, such as environmental changes, demographic forces, white supremacy, and the devastating effects of world events on the American economy in times of global economic upheaval or war. Sometimes blacks bonded with other groups, and sometimes their interests clashed. Often the experiences of other Americans ran parallel to the African American experience, and sometimes African American resistance served as a template for the resistance of others. Freedom on My Mind recounts this complex historical interaction. Although more than a century has unfolded since Du Bois wrote Souls, we have tried to remain true to the spirit of that text and write, with “loving emphasis,” the history of African Americans.



The Docutext Format We believe that the primary goals of our book — to highlight the deep connections between black history and the development of American democracy, illustrate the diversity of black experience, emphasize the centrality of black culture, and document the inextricable connections among black culture, politics, economics, and social and religious life — could not be realized to their fullest extent through narrative alone. Thus Freedom on My Mind’s unique docutext structure combines a brief narrative with rich, themed sets of textual and visual primary documents, reimagining the relationship between the narrative and the historical actors who form it. The narrative portion of each chapter is followed by a set of primary sources focused on a particular chapter topic. Each set is clearly cross-referenced within the narrative so that students can connect it to and interpret it in terms of what they’ve learned. Carefully developed pedagogical elements — including substantive introductions, document headnotes, and Questions for Analysis at the close of each set — help students learn to analyze primary documents and practice “doing” history.

These visuals and documents showcase and examine a rich variety of African American cultural elements and underscore the abiding connections among African American political activism, religious beliefs, economic philosophies, musical genres, and literary and fine art expression. A host of pictorial source types — from artifacts, photographs, paintings, and sculpture to cartoons and propaganda — and documentary sources ranging from personal letters, memoirs, and poetry to public petitions and newspaper accounts illuminate the primary evidence that underpins and complicates the history students learn. Taken together, documents and images as varied as slave captivity narratives, early American visual portrayals of black freedom fighters, the writings of free blacks like Absalom Jones and James Forten, scenes of everyday realities in the 1930s, accounts from Tuskegee Syphilis Study participants, the narratives of the civil rights era, reflections on redefining community in a diverse black America, and the responses of #BlackLivesMatter protesters and the police to the deaths of young black men all provide students with a vivid and appealing illustration of the interplay of societal forces and the centrality of African American culture to American culture. By placing these historical actors in conversation with one another, we enable students to witness firsthand the myriad variations of and nuances within individual and collective black experiences and to appreciate the points at which African Americans have diverged, as well as those at which they have agreed. Together with a narrative that presents and analyzes their context, these documents facilitate students’ comprehension of the textured, complicated story that is the history of African America.


Support for Students Freedom on My Mind includes a variety of carefully crafted pedagogical features to help students grasp, assimilate, analyze, and recall what they’ve learned. Each chapter opens with a thematic vignette illustrating the issues confronting African Americans of that time period and then transitions to an informative introduction that sets out the thesis and takeaway points of the chapter. A chapter timeline highlights the most significant events of both African American history and general United States history during that time period, providing a quick reference for students. At the end of each chapter’s narrative, a Conclusion allows students to retrace their steps through the chapter and previews the chapter that follows. A Chapter Review section provides a list of key terms — all of which are bolded when first defined in the narrative and listed with their definitions in a Glossary of Key Terms at the end of the book — as well as three to five Review Questions encouraging students to think critically about the deeper implications of each chapter section and the connections between sections.

In addition to the visual sources in the document sets, the narrative is enhanced by the inclusion of over 160 images and 35 maps and By the Numbers graphs, each with a substantive caption that helps students relate what they’re seeing to what they’ve read and analyze quantitative data.

To facilitate further research and study, we have included extensive Notes and section-specific lists of Suggested References at the close of every chapter. Finally, we have provided an Introduction for Students that introduces students to the work of the historian and the practice of primary source analysis, and two Appendices that include a wide variety of tables, charts, and vital documents, many of them annotated to provide a deeper reference tool. We are confident that these elements will be useful not only for students but also for instructors who wish to introduce students to the practice of history and provide the resources their students will need for research projects, further reading, and reference.


Support for Instructors We structured this book with the instructor in mind as well as the student: We believe that the book’s docutext format provides the convenience and flexibility of a textbook and source reader in one, allowing instructors a unique opportunity to incorporate primary readings and visuals seamlessly into their classes and introduce students to primary-source analysis and the practice of history. The Document Projects and the pedagogy that supports them can be used in many ways — from in-class discussion prompts to take-home writing assignments or essay questions on exams. An Instructor’s Resource Manual for Freedom on My Mind provides a variety of creative suggestions for making the best use of the documents program and for incorporating rich multimedia resources into the course. The Bedford Lecture Kit and online test bank provide additional instructional support. For more information on available student and instructor resources and the wide range of books that can be packaged with this text at a discount, see the Versions and Supplements section on pages x–xii.


New to the Second Edition Based on reviewer feedback to the first edition, we decided to consolidate the written and visual primary sources at the ends of the chapters into mixed-source Document Projects. As a result, we were able to expand the number and types of documents offered on a particular topic, such as those on the Middle Passage (chapter 1), debt peonage (chapter 9), lynching (chapter 9), and the Tuskegee experiments during World War II (chapter 11). The new edition also gave us the opportunity to add wholly new document sets on the codification of slavery in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (chapter 2) and the Black Lives Matter movement (chapter 15).

Outside of the Document Projects, we expanded coverage of key topics in both African American and general U.S. history. In the eighteenth century, we further explore the impact of the Great Awakening on slaves’ lives (chapter 3) and go into more depth about the significance of Crispus Attucks to American Revolutionary history (chapter 3). We examine African Americans’ roles in the War of 1812, both as members of the nation’s military forces and as free black civilians (chapter 4). We added to our examination of the evolution of race relations over the last one hundred years by discussing racial discrimination in labor unions (chapter 10), white backlash against affirmative action in the late 1960s and early 1970s (chapter 14), increased tension among blacks and other racial groups that also felt marginalized and oppressed (chapter 14), and the relationship between the black community and law enforcement (chapter 15). Finally, we updated the last chapter to include an analysis of President Obama’s second term.


Acknowledgments In completing this book, we owe thanks to the many talented and generous friends, colleagues, and editors who have provided us with suggestions, critiques, and much careful reading along the way.

Foremost among them is the hardworking group of scholar-teachers who reviewed the first edition for us. We are deeply grateful to them for their insights and suggestions, and we hope we do them justice in the second edition. We thank Luther Adams, University of Washington Tacoma; Ezrah Aharone, Delaware State University; Jacqueline Akins, Community College of Philadelphia; Okey P. Akubeze, University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee; Lauren K. Anderson, Luther College; Scott Barton, East Central University; Diane L. Beers, Holyoke Community College; Dan Berger, University of Washington Bothell; Christopher Bonner, University of Maryland; Susan Bragg, Georgia Southwestern State University; Lester Brooks, Anne Arundel Community College; E. Tsekani Browne, Montgomery College; Monica L. Butler, Seminole State College of Florida; Thomas L. Bynum, Middle Tennessee State University; Erin D. Chapman, George Washington University; Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Franklin College; Alexandra Cornelius, Florida International University; Julie Davis, Cerritos College; John Kyle Day, University of Arkansas at Monticello; Dorothy Drinkard-Hawkshawe, East Tennessee State University; Nancy J. Duke, Daytona State College, Daytona Beach; Reginald K. Ellis, Florida A&M University; Keona K. Ervin, University of Missouri–Columbia; Joshua David Farrington, Eastern Kentucky University; Marvin Fletcher, Ohio University; Amy Forss, Metropolitan Community College; Delia C. Gillis, University of Central Missouri; Kevin D. Greene, The University of Southern Mississippi; LaVerne Gyant, Northern Illinois University; Timothy Hack, Middlesex County College; Kenneth M. Hamilton, Southern Methodist University; Martin Hardeman, Eastern Illinois University; Jarvis Hargrove, North Carolina Central University; Jim C. Harper II, North Carolina Central University; Margaret Harris, Southern New Hampshire University; Patricia Herb, North Central State College; Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell; Pippa Holloway, Middle Tennessee State University; Marilyn Howard, Columbus State Community College; Carol Sue Humphrey, Oklahoma Baptist University; Bryan Jack, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Jerry Rafiki Jenkins, Palomar College; Karen J. Johns, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Winifred M. Johnson, Bethune-Cookman University; Gary Jones, American International College; Ishmael Kimbrough III, Bakersfield College; Michelle Kuhl, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Lynda Lamarre, Georgia Military College; Renee Lansley, Framingham State University; Talitha LeFlouria, University of Virginia; Monroe Little, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis; Margaret A. Lowe, Bridgewater State University; Vince Lowery, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay; Robert Luckett, Jackson State University; Steven Lurenz, Mesa Community College; Peggy Macdonald, Florida Polytechnic University; Bruce Mactavish, Washburn University; Gerald McCarthy, St. Thomas Aquinas College; Suzanne McCormack, Community College of Rhode Island; Anthony Merritt, San Diego State University; Karen K. Miller, Boston College; Steven Millner, San Jose State University; Billie J. Moore, El Camino Compton Center; Maggi M. Morehouse, Coastal Carolina University; Lynda Morgan, Mount Holyoke College; Earl Mulderink, Southern Utah University; Cassandra Newby- Alexander, Norfolk State University; Victor D. Padilla Jr., Wright College; N. Josiah Pamoja, Georgia Military College, Fairburn; Leslie Patrick, Bucknell University; Abigail Perkiss, Kean University; Alex Peshkoff, Cosumnes River College; Melvin Pritchard, West Valley College; Margaret Reed, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus; Stephanie Richmond, Norfolk State University; John Riedl, Montgomery College; Natalie J. Ring, University of Texas at Dallas; Maria Teresa Romero, Saddleback College; Tara Ross, Onondaga


Community College; Selena Sanderfer, Western Kentucky University; Jonathan D. Sassi, CUNY–College of Staten Island; Gerald Schumacher, Nunez Community College; Gary Shea, Center for Advanced Studies and the Arts; Tobin Shearer, University of Montana; John Howard Smith, Texas A&M University–Commerce; Solomon Smith, Georgia Southern University; Pamela A. Smoot, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Karen Sotiropoulos, Cleveland State University; Melissa M. Soto-Schwartz, Cuyahoga Community College; Idris Kabir Syed, Kent State University; Linda D. Tomlinson, Fayetteville State University; Felicia A. Viator, University of California, Berkeley; Eric M. Washington, Calvin College; and Joanne G. Woodard, University of North Texas.

Our debt to the many brilliant editors at Bedford/St. Martin’s is equally immeasurable. We are grateful to publisher Michael Rosenberg, senior executive editor William J. Lombardo, director of development Jane Knetzger, history marketing manager Melissa Famiglietti, editorial assistant Lexi DeConti, and the other members of Bedford’s outstanding history team for guiding the development of this second edition. We also thank Bruce Carson and Cecilia Varas for researching and clearing the book’s photographs, Kalina Ingham and Eve Lehmann for clearing the text permissions, Arthur Johnson for copyediting the manuscript, Roberta Sobotka and Linda McLatchie for proofreading, Leoni Z. McVey for indexing, Cia Boynton for her design of the book’s interior, and John Callahan for his design of the cover. We also want to acknowledge Rosemary Jaffe, our production editor for both the first and second editions, who coordinated the work of copyediting, proofreading, and illustrating this book with amazing grace, good humor, and attention to detail. Finally, we would like to thank Jennifer Jovin, whose careful editing of the second edition helped streamline and fine- tune the original text. Letting go of carefully crafted paragraphs and sections is always difficult, but Jennifer’s insight, patience, and gentle nudging made it easier than usual. Without her guidance we would not have been able to reimagine the book. We thank them all for making the writing of this book such a pleasant experience.

In writing this book we have also relied on a large number of talented scholars and friends within the academy to supply us with guidance, editorial expertise, bright ideas, research assistance, and many other forms of support, and we would like to thank them here. The enormous — but by no means comprehensive — list of colleagues, friends, students, and former students to whom we are indebted includes Isra Ali, Marsha Barrett, Rachel Bernard, Melissa Cooper, John Day, Jeff Dowd, Joseph L. Duong, Ann Fabian, Jared Farmer, Larissa Fergeson, Krystal Frazier, Raymond Gavins, Sharon Harley, Nancy Hewitt, Martha Jones, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Mia Kissil, Christopher Lehman, Thomas Lekan, Emily Lieb, Leon F. Litwack, Julie Livingston, David Lucander, Catherine L. Macklin, Jaime Martinez, Story Matkin-Rawn, Gregory Mixon, Donna Murch, Kimberly Phillips, Alicia Rodriguez, David Schoebun, Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, Jason Sokol, Melissa Stein, Ellen Stroud, Melissa Stuckey, Anantha Sudakar, Patricia Sullivan, Keith Wailoo, Dara Walker, and Wendy Wright. Deborah would especially like to thank Maya White Pascual for her invaluable assistance with many of the documents in the last third of the book. Her insight, skill, and talent were absolutely indispensable.

Finally, all three of us are grateful to our families and loved ones for the support and forbearance that they showed us during our work on this book.

Deborah Gray White


Mia Bay

Waldo E. Martin Jr.


Versions and Supplements Adopters of Freedom on My Mind and their students have access to abundant resources, including documents, presentation and testing materials, volumes in the acclaimed Bedford Series in History and Culture, and much more.


To Learn More For more information on the offerings described below, visit the book’s catalog site at macmillanlearning.com, or contact your local Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative.


Get the Right Version for Your Class To accommodate different course lengths and course budgets, Freedom on My Mind is available in several different formats, including e-Books, which are available at a substantial discount.

Combined edition (chapters 1–15) — available in paperback and e-Book formats

Volume 1: To 1885 (chapters 1–8) — available in paperback and e-Book formats

Volume 2: Since 1865 (chapters 8–15) — available in paperback and e-Book formats

Students can find PDF versions of the e-Book at our publishing partners’ sites, such as VitalSource, Barnes & Noble NookStudy, RedShelf, Kno, CafeScribe, and Chegg. As noted below, any of these volumes can be packaged with additional titles for a discount. To get ISBNs for discount packages, visit macmillanlearning.com or contact your Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative.


Take Advantage of Instructor Resources Bedford/St. Martin’s has developed a rich array of teaching resources for this book and for this course. They range from lecture and presentation materials to course management options. Most can be downloaded at macmillanlearning.com.

Bedford Coursepack for Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by D2L, or Moodle. We can help you integrate our rich content into your course management system. Registered instructors can download coursepacks that include our popular free resources and book-specific content for Freedom on My Mind. Visit macmillanlearning.com to find your version or download your coursepack.

Instructor’s Resource Manual. The instructor’s manual offers both experienced and first-time instructors tools for preparing lectures and running discussions. It includes content learning objectives, annotated chapter outlines, and strategies for teaching with the textbook, plus a survival guide for first-time teaching assistants.

Guide to Changing Editions. Designed to facilitate an instructor’s transition from the previous edition of Freedom on My Mind to this new edition, this guide presents an overview of major changes as well as changes within each chapter.

Online Test Bank. The test bank includes a mix of fresh and carefully crafted multiple-choice, matching, short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter, along with volume-based essay questions. Many of the multiple-choice questions feature a map, an image, or a primary-source excerpt as the prompt. All questions appear in easy-to-use test bank software that allows instructors to add, edit, re-sequence, and print questions and answers. Instructors can also export questions into a variety of course management systems.

The Bedford Lecture Kit: Maps, Images, and Lecture Outlines. Be effective and save time with The Bedford Lecture Kit. These presentation materials are downloadable individually from the Instructor Resources tab at macmillanlearning.com. They include fully customizable multimedia presentations built around chapter outlines that are embedded with maps, figures, and images from the textbook and are supplemented by more detailed instructor notes on key points and concepts.

America in Motion: Video Clips for U.S. History. Set history in motion with America in Motion, an instructor DVD containing dozens of short movie files of events in twentieth-century American history. America in Motion engages students with dynamic scenes from key events and challenges them to think critically. All files are classroom-ready, edited for brevity, and easily integrated with presentation slides or other software for electronic lectures or assignments. An accompanying guide provides each clip’s historical context, ideas for use, and suggested questions.


Print, Digital, and Custom Options for More Choice and Value For information on free packages and discounts up to 50%, visit macmillanlearning.com or contact your local Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative.

NEW! Bedford Custom Tutorials for History. Designed to customize textbooks with resources relevant to individual courses, this collection of brief units, each of which is 16 pages long and loaded with examples, guides students through basic skills such as using historical evidence effectively, working with primary sources, taking effective notes, avoiding plagiarism and citing sources, and more. Up to two tutorials can be added to a Bedford/St. Martin’s history survey title at no additional charge, freeing you to spend your class time focusing on content and interpretation. For more information, visit macmillanlearning.com/historytutorials.

NEW! The Bedford Digital Collections for African American History. This source collection provides a flexible and affordable online repository of discovery-oriented primary-source projects ready to assign. Each curated project — written by a historian about a favorite topic — poses a historical question and guides students step-by-step through analysis of primary sources. African American history projects include “Convict Labor and the Building of Modern America” by Talitha L. LeFlouria, “War Stories: African American Soldiers and the Long Civil Rights Movement” by Maggi M. Morehouse, “Organization and Protest in the Civil Rights–Era South: The Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Paul Harvey, and “The Challenge of Liberal Reform: School Desegregation, North and South” by Joseph Crespino. For more information, visit macmillanlearning.com/bdcafricanamerican/catalog. Available free when packaged.

NEW! Bedford Digital Collections Custom Print Modules. Choose one or two document projects from the source collection (see above) and add them in print to a Bedford/St. Martin’s title, or select several projects to be bound together in a custom reader created specifically for your course. Either way, the modules are affordably priced. For more information, contact your Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative.

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Brief Contents CHAPTER 1 From Africa to America, 1441–1808

CHAPTER 2 African Slavery in North America, 1619–1740

CHAPTER 3 African Americans in the Age of Revolution, 1741–1783

CHAPTER 4 Slavery and Freedom in the New Republic, 1775–1820

CHAPTER 5 Black Life in the Slave South, 1820–1860

CHAPTER 6 The Northern Black Freedom Struggle and the Coming of the Civil War, 1830–1860

CHAPTER 7 Freedom Rising: The Civil War, 1861–1865

CHAPTER 8 Reconstruction: The Making and Unmaking of a Revolution, 1865–1885

CHAPTER 9 Black Life and Culture during the Nadir, 1880–1915

CHAPTER 10 The New Negro Comes of Age, 1915–1940

CHAPTER 11 Fighting for a Double Victory in the World War II Era, 1939–1948

CHAPTER 12 The Early Civil Rights Movement, 1945–1963

CHAPTER 13 Multiple Meanings of Freedom: The Movement Broadens, 1961–1976

CHAPTER 14 Racial Progress in an Era of Backlash and Change, 1967–2000

CHAPTER 15 African Americans and the New Century, 2000–Present


Contents Preface for Instructors

Versions and Supplements

Maps and Figures

Introduction for Students

CHAPTER 1 From Africa to America, 1441–1808

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Prince Henry’s African Captives

African Origins

The History of West Africa

Slavery in West Africa

The Rise of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Europe in the Age of the Slave Trade

The Enslavement of Indigenous Peoples

The First Africans in the Americas

The Business of Slave Trading

The Long Middle Passage

Capture and Confinement

On the Slave Coast


Inside the Slave Ship

Hardship and Misery on Board

Conclusion: The Slave Trade’s Diaspora

Chapter 1 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Firsthand Accounts of the Slave Trade

OLAUDAH EQUIANO, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, 1789

• BELINDA, The Petition of Belinda, 1782

• JAMES BARBOT Jr., General Observations on the Management of Slaves, 1700

• A Slave in Revolt

• ALEXANDER FALCONBRIDGE, An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa, 1788

• The Brig Sally’s Log


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 2 African Slavery in North America, 1619–1740

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: “20. and Odd Negroes”: The Story of Virginia’s First African Americans

Slavery and Freedom in Early English North America

Settlers, Servants, and Slaves in the Chesapeake

The Expansion of Slavery in the Chesapeake

The Creation of the Carolinas


Africans in New England

Slavery in the Middle Atlantic Colonies

Slavery and Half-Freedom in New Netherland

Slavery in England’s Middle Colonies

Frontiers and Forced Labor

Slavery in French Louisiana

Black Society in Spanish Florida

Slavery and Servitude in Early Georgia

The Stono Rebellion

Conclusion: Regional Variations of Early American Slavery

Chapter 2 Review


The Codification of Slavery and Race in Seventeenth-Century Virginia, 1630–1680

• The Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641

• An Act for Regulating of Slaves in New Jersey, 1713–1714

• The South Carolina Slave Code, 1740

• SAMUEL SEWALL, The Selling of Joseph, 1700

• The Code Noir


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 3 African Americans in the Age of Revolution, 1741–1783


CHAPTER VIGNETTE: The New York Slave Plot of 1741

African American Life in Eighteenth-Century North America

Slaves and Free Blacks across the Colonies

Shaping an African American Culture

The Slaves’ Great Awakening

The African American Revolution

The Road to Independence

Black Patriots

Black Loyalists

Slaves, Soldiers, and the Outcome of the Revolution

American Victory, British Defeat

The Fate of Black Loyalists

Closer to Freedom

Conclusion: The American Revolution’s Mixed Results for Blacks

Chapter 3 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Black Freedom Fighters

PHILLIS WHEATLEY, A Poem to the Earl of Dartmouth, 1772

• PHILLIS WHEATLEY, Letter to the Reverend Samson Occom, 1774

• LEMUEL HAYNES, Liberty Further Extended, 1776


• JEAN BAPTISTE ANTOINE DE VERGER, Soldiers in Uniform, 1781

• BOSTON KING, Memoirs of a Black Loyalist, 1798

• JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, The Death of Major Peirson, 1782–1784


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 4 Slavery and Freedom in the New Republic, 1775–1820

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Benjamin Banneker Questions Thomas Jefferson about Slavery in the New Republic

The Limits of Democracy

The Status of Slavery in the New Nation

Slavery’s Cotton Frontiers

Slavery and Empire

Slavery and Freedom outside the Plantation South

Urban Slavery and Southern Free Blacks

Gabriel’s Rebellion

Achieving Emancipation in the North

Free Black Life in the New Republic

Free Black Organizations

Free Black Education and Employment

White Hostility Rises, Yet Blacks Are Still Called to Serve in the War of 1812


The Colonization Debate

Conclusion: African American Freedom in Black and White

Chapter 4 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Free Black Activism

ABSALOM JONES AND OTHERS, Petition to Congress on the Fugitive Slave Act, 1799

• JAMES FORTEN, Letters from a Man of Colour, 1813

• Sentiments of the People of Color, 1817

• SAMUEL E. CORNISH AND JOHN BROWN RUSSWURM, An Editorial from Freedom’s Journal, 1827

• Kidnapping of an African American Mother and Child, c. 1840

• EDWARD WILLIAMS CLAY, Bobalition, 1833


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 5 Black Life in the Slave South, 1820–1860

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: William Wells Brown and Growing Up in the Slave South

The Expansion and Consolidation of Slavery

Slavery, Cotton, and American Industrialization

The Missouri Compromise Crisis

Slavery Expands into Indian Territory

The Domestic Slave Trade


Black Challenges to Slavery

Denmark Vesey’s Plot

David Walker’s Exile

Nat Turner’s Rebellion, the Amistad Case, and the Creole Insurrection

Everyday Resistance to Slavery

Disobedience and Defiance

Runaways Who Escaped from Slavery

Survival, Community, and Culture

Slave Religion

Gender, Age, and Work

Marriage and Family

Conclusion: Surviving Slavery

Chapter 5 Review


JAMES CURRY, Narrative of James Curry, a Fugitive Slave, 1840

• Slave Punishment

• LEWIS CLARKE, Questions and Answers about Slavery, 1845

• MARY REYNOLDS, The Days of Slavery, 1937


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 6 The Northern Black Freedom Struggle and the Coming of the Civil War, 1830–1860


CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Mary Ann Shadd and the Black Liberation Struggle before the Civil War

The Boundaries of Freedom

Racial Discrimination in the Era of the Common Man

The Growth of Free Black Communities in the North

Black Self-Help in an Era of Moral Reform

Forging a Black Freedom Struggle

Building a National Black Community: The Black Convention Movement and the Black Press

Growing Black Activism in Literature, Politics, and the Justice System

Abolitionism: Moral Suasion, Political Action, Race, and Gender

Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War

Westward Expansion and Slavery in the Territories

The Fugitive Slave Crisis and Civil Disobedience

Confrontations in “Bleeding Kansas” and the Courts

Emigration and John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry

Conclusion: Whose Country Is It?

Chapter 6 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Forging an African American Nation — Slave and Free, North and South


SARAH MAPPS DOUGLASS, To Make the Slaves’ Cause Our Own, 1832

• HENRY HIGHLAND GARNET, An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America, 1843

• FREDERICK DOUGLASS, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?, 1852

• Escaping Slavery via the Underground Railroad

• Dred and Harriet Scott

• Jim Crow


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 7 Freedom Rising: The Civil War, 1861–1865

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Robert Smalls and the African American Freedom Struggle during the Civil War

The Coming of War and the Seizing of Freedom, 1861–1862

War Aims and Battlefield Realities

Union Policy on Black Soldiers and Black Freedom

Refugee Slaves and Freedpeople

Turning Points, 1862–1863

The Emancipation Proclamation

The U.S. Colored Troops

African Americans in the Major Battles of 1863


Home Fronts and War’s End, 1863–1865

Riots and Restoration of the Union

Black Civilians at Work for the War

Union Victory, Slave Emancipation, and the Renewed Struggle for Equality

Conclusion: Emancipation and Equality

Chapter 7 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Wartime and Emancipation

ALFRED M. GREEN, Let Us . . . Take Up the Sword, 1861

• ISAIAH C. WEARS, The Evil Injustice of Colonization, 1862

• SUSIE KING TAYLOR, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp, 1902

• WILLIAM TOLMAN CARLTON, Watch Meeting — Dec. 31st — Waiting for the Hour, 1863

• Private Hubbard Pryor, before and after Enlisting in the U.S. Colored Troops, 1864

• Freedmen’s Memorial, 1876


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 8 Reconstruction: The Making and Unmaking of a Revolution, 1865–1885

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Jourdon and Mandy Anderson Find Security in Freedom after Slavery

A Social Revolution

Freedom and Family

Church and Community


Land and Labor

The Hope of Education

A Short-Lived Political Revolution

The Political Contest over Reconstruction

Black Reconstruction

The Defeat of Reconstruction

Opportunities and Limits outside the South

Autonomy in the West

The Right to Work for Fair Wages

The Struggle for Equal Rights

Conclusion: Revolutions and Reversals

Chapter 8 Review


SOJOURNER TRUTH, Equal Voting Rights, 1867

• PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN EQUAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION, A Debate: Negro Male Suffrage vs. Woman Suffrage, 1869

• MARY ANN SHADD CARY, Woman’s Right to Vote, early 1870s

• A. R. WAUD, The First Vote, 1867

• THOMAS NAST, The Ignorant Vote, 1876

• THOMAS NAST, Colored Rule in a Reconstructed(?) State, 1874


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 9 Black Life and Culture during the Nadir, 1880–1915


CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Ida B. Wells: Creating Hope and Community amid Extreme Repression

Racism and Black Challenges

Racial Segregation

Ideologies of White Supremacy

Disfranchisement and Political Activism

Lynching and the Campaign against It

Freedom’s First Generation

Black Women and Men in the Era of Jim Crow

Black Communities in the Cities of the New South

New Cultural Expressions

Migration, Accommodation, and Protest

Migration Hopes and Disappointments

The Age of Booker T. Washington

The Emergence of W. E. B. Du Bois

Conclusion: Racial Uplift in the Nadir

Chapter 9 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Agency and Constraint

The Lynching of Charles Mitchell, 1897

• The Lynching of Virgil Jones, Robert Jones, Thomas Jones, and Joseph Riley, 1908

• A GEORGIA NEGRO PEON, The New Slavery in the South, 1904

• W. E. B. DU BOIS, Along the Color Line, 1910

• LETTER TO THE EDITOR, From the South, 1911

• Chain Gang


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 10 The New Negro Comes of Age, 1915–1940


CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Zora Neale Hurston and the Advancement of the Black Freedom Struggle

The Great Migration and the Great War

Origins and Patterns of Migration

Black Communities in the Metropolises of the North

African Americans and the Great War

The New Negro Arrives

Institutional Bases for Social Science and Historical Studies

The Universal Negro Improvement Association

The Harlem Renaissance

The Great Depression and the New Deal

Economic Crisis and the Roosevelt Presidency

African American Politics

Black Culture in Hard Times

Conclusion: Mass Movements and Mass Culture

Chapter 10 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Communist Radicalism and Everyday Realities

W. E. B. DU BOIS, Negro Editors on Communism: A Symposium of the American Negro Press, 1932

• CARL MURPHY, Baltimore Afro-American

• W. P. DABNEY, Cincinnati Union

• ANGELO HERNDON, You Cannot Kill the Working Class, 1934

• RICHARD WRIGHT, 12 Million Black Voices, 1941

• RUSSELL LEE, Negro Drinking at “Colored” Water Cooler in Streetcar Terminal, Oklahoma City,


Oklahoma, 1939

• ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN, Girl at Gee’s Bend, 1937

• MARION POST WOLCOTT, Negroes Jitterbugging in a Juke Joint on Saturday Afternoon, Clarksdale, Mississippi Delta, 1939


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 11 Fighting for a Double Victory in the World War II Era, 1939–1948

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: James Tillman and Evelyn Bates Mobilize for War

The Crisis of World War II

America Enters the War and States Its Goals

African Americans Respond to the War

Racial Violence and Discrimination in the Military

African Americans on the Home Front

New Jobs, Wartime Migration, and Race Riots

Organizing for Economic Opportunity

The Struggle for Citizenship Rights

Fighting and Dying for the Right to Vote

New Beginnings in Political and Cultural Life

Desegregating the Army and the GI Bill

Conclusion: A Partial Victory


Chapter 11 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: African Americans and the Tuskegee Experiments

Interview with a Tuskegee Syphilis Study Participant, 1972

• Nurse Rivers

• Tuskegee Study Participants

• ALEXANDER JEFFERSON, Interview with a Tuskegee Airman, 2006

• Tuskegee Airmen

• WILLIAM H. HASTIE AND GEORGE E. STRATEMEYER, Resignation Memo and Response, 1943


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 12 The Early Civil Rights Movement, 1945–1963

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Paul Robeson: A Cold War Civil Rights Warrior

Anticommunism and the Postwar Black Freedom Struggle

African Americans, the Cold War, and President Truman’s Loyalty Program

Loyalty Programs Force New Strategies

The Transformation of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

Triumphs and Tragedies in the Early Years, 1951–1956

New Leadership for a New Movement

The Watershed Years of the Southern Movement

White Resistance and Presidential Sluggishness


Civil Rights: A National Movement

Racism and Inequality in the North and West

Fighting Back: The Snail’s Pace of Change

The March on Washington and the Aftermath

Conclusion: The Evolution of the Black American Freedom Struggle

Chapter 12 Review


ANNE MOODY, Coming of Age in Mississippi, 1968

• CLEVELAND SELLERS, The River of No Return, 1973

• ELIZABETH ECKFORD, The First Day: Little Rock, 1957

• Images of Protest and Terror


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 13 Multiple Meanings of Freedom: The Movement Broadens, 1961–1976

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Stokely Carmichael and the Meaning of Black Power

The Emergence of Black Power

Expanding the Struggle beyond Civil Rights

Early Black Power Organizations

Malcolm X

The Struggle Transforms

Black Power and Mississippi Politics


Bloody Encounters

Black Power Ascends

Economic Justice and Affirmative Action

Politics and the Fight for Jobs

Urban Dilemmas: Deindustrialization, Globalization, and White Flight

Tackling Economic Injustice

War, Radicalism, and Turbulence

The Vietnam War and Black Opposition

Urban Radicalism

Conclusion: Progress, Challenges, and Change

Chapter 13 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Black Power: Expression and Repression

HUEY NEWTON AND BOBBY SEALE, October 1966 Black Panther Party Platform and Program

• LOÏS MAILOU JONES, Ubi Girl from Tai Region, 1972

• FAITH RINGGOLD, The Flag Is Bleeding, 1967

• COINTELPRO Targets Black Organizations, 1967

• FBI Uses Fake Letters to Divide the Chicago Black Panthers and the Blackstone Rangers, 1969

• “Special Payment” Request and Floor Plan of Fred Hampton’s Apartment, 1969

• Tangible Results, 1969

• Church Committee Report, 1976


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 14 Racial Progress in an Era of Backlash and Change, 1967–2000


CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Shirley Chisholm: The First of Many Firsts

Opposition to the Black Freedom Movement

The Emergence of the New Right

Law and Order, the Southern Strategy, and Anti–Affirmative Action

The Reagan Era

The Persistence of the Black Freedom Struggle

The Transformation of the Black Panthers

Black Women Find Their Voice

The Fight for Education

Community Control and Urban Ethnic Conflict

Black Political Gains

The Expansion of the Black Middle Class

The Different Faces of Black America

The Class Divide

Hip-Hop, Violence, and the Emergence of a New Generation

Gender and Sexuality

All Africa’s Children

Conclusion: Black Americans on the Eve of the New Millennium

Chapter 14 Review

DOCUMENT PROJECT: Redefining Community

COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE, The Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977

• CLEO MANAGO, Manhood — Who Claims? Who Does It Claim?, 1995


• DOUGLAS S. MASSEY, MARGARITA MOONEY, KIMBERLY C. TORRES, AND CAMILLE Z. CHARLES, Black Immigrants and Black Natives Attending Selective Colleges and Universities in the United States, 2007

• A Graffiti Artist in Long Island City, Queens, New York, 2009

• Run-DMC, 1987

• Salt-N-Pepa, 1994


• Suggested References

CHAPTER 15 African Americans and the New Century, 2000–Present

CHAPTER VIGNETTE: Barack Hussein Obama, America’s Forty-Fourth President

Diversity and Racial Belonging

New Categories of Difference

Solidarity, Culture, and the Meaning of Blackness

Diversity in Politics and Religion

Trying Times

The Carceral State, or “the New Jim Crow”

9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Hurricane Katrina

Change Comes to America

Obama’s Forerunners, Campaign, and Victory

The New Obama Administration

Racism Confronts Obama in His First Term

The 2012 Election

Moving Forward


Obama’s Second Term

African Americans and Law Enforcement

Conclusion: The Promise or Illusion of the New Century

Chapter 15 Review


ALICIA GARZA, A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, 2014

• Protesting the Killing of Unarmed Black Men

• Citizen-Police Confrontation in Ferguson

• “We Can’t Breathe” Headline

• The Police See It Differently

• PHOENIX LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSOCIATION, Recent Phoenix Police Officer Involved Shooting, 2014

• THOMAS J. NEE, Letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, 2014

• SYBRINA FULTON, Letter to Michael Brown’s Family, 2014


• Suggested References

APPENDIX: Documents

The Declaration of Independence

• The Constitution of the United States of America

• Amendments to the Constitution

• The Emancipation Proclamation [1863]

• Presidents of the United States

• Selected Legislative Acts

• Selected Supreme Court Decisions

• Selected Documents

APPENDIX: Tables and Charts

African American Population of the United States, 1790–2010

• Unemployment Rates in the United States by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2005–2010

• African American Educational Attainment in the United States, 2011

• Educational Attainment in the United States, 1960–2010

• Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 1865–Present

• African American Occupational Distribution, 1900 and 2010

• African American Regional Distribution, 1850–2010

Glossary of Key Terms




Maps and Figures


Maps MAP 1.1 Africa’s Diverse States and Geography, 900–1800

MAP 1.2 Slave Origins and Destinations, 1501–1867

MAP 1.3 The Triangle Trade

MAP 2.1 Distribution of Blacks and Whites, 1680 and 1740

MAP 3.1 Patriots and Loyalists

MAP 3.2 African Americans across the Developing Nation, 1770 and 1800

MAP 4.1 The Northwest Ordinance

MAP 4.2 The Louisiana Purchase

MAP 5.1 Agriculture and Industry in the Slave South, 1860

MAP 5.2 The Missouri Compromise

MAP 5.3 The Domestic Slave Trade, 1808–1865

MAP 6.1 The Underground Railroad

MAP 6.2 The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

MAP 7.1 African Americans in Battle

MAP 7.2 Slave Emancipation

MAP 8.1 Black Political Participation in the Reconstruction South, 1867–1868

MAP 8.2 African American Population Distribution, 1860 and 1890

MAP 9.1 Jim Crow and Disfranchisement in Former Confederate States

MAP 9.2 School Segregation in the North and West

MAP 10.1 The Great Migration, 1910–1929

MAP 10.2 Cultural Harlem

MAP 11.1 African American Migration, 1940–1970

MAP 11.2 The Persistence of Lynching, 1940–1946

MAP 12.1 The Routes of the Freedom Rides, 1961

MAP 12.2 Key Southern Civil Rights Battlegrounds, 1954–1963

MAP 13.1 The Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965


MAP 15.1 African Immigrants in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries


By the Numbers Black and White Populations in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake

The Growth of Slavery and Cotton, 1820–1860

Percent Change in Free Black Population, 1830–1860

African Americans in the Union Military

African Americans in the Vietnam War

The War on Drugs, 1980–2000

Black Poverty and Unemployment, 1980–1998

Black Male Incarceration Rates, 2000–2009


Introduction for Students It is a joy to offer Freedom on My Mind to enhance your knowledge of both African American history and the craft of history. For us, the authors, history has never been just a series of dates and names. It is not just memorizable facts, consumed only to pass a test or complete an assignment. For us, history is adventure; it’s a puzzle that must be both unraveled and put together. Being a historian is like being a time-traveling detective. To be able to use our sleuthing skills to unveil the history of African Americans, a history that for too long was dismissed but tells us so much about American democracy, is not just a delight but a serious responsibility.


The History of African American History Although black Americans first came to North America in 1619, before the Mayflower brought New England Pilgrims, the history of African American history has a relatively recent past. For most of American history black history was ignored, overlooked, exploited, demeaned, discounted, or ridiculed — much as African Americans were. Worse yet, history was often used to justify the mistreatment of African Americans: The history of Africans was used to justify slavery, and the history of slavery was used to justify the subsequent disfranchisement, discrimination, rape, and lynching of African Americans.

American blacks understood this connection between a history that misrepresented them and their citizenship, and they fought not only to free themselves from bondage but also to create a legacy that future generations could be proud of: a legacy that championed their self-inspired “uplift” and that countered the negative images and history that prevailed in American society. Take just one example: D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation (1915) used revolutionary cinematography to disseminate a history that represented slaves as happy and race relations as rosy, until the Civil War and Reconstruction unleashed black criminals and sexual predators on an innocent South. Many used Griffith’s film to justify the lynching of black men and the segregation of the races. Indeed, President Woodrow Wilson, the historian who as president introduced segregation into the government offices of Washington, D.C., premiered the film in the White House and praised its historical accuracy.

The same year that The Birth of a Nation premiered, Harvard-trained black historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Woodson’s ASNLH was the culmination of what has become known as the New Negro history movement, begun in the late nineteenth century. The organization’s goal was to counter Griffith-type images by resurrecting a positive black history and recounting all that African Americans had done for themselves and for America. Because professional American historical journals generally did not publish black history, the ASNLH, with Woodson as editor, issued the Journal of Negro History and the Negro History Bulletin. During the 1920s, the Journal of Negro History and the ASNLH focused much of their attention on proving Griffith wrong. Professionally researched articles and scholarly convention panels demonstrated that black people were not criminals or sexually dangerous. Black scholars wrote a history that showed how blacks, despite being mercilessly degraded, had in the one generation after slavery’s end become a mostly literate people who voted responsibly and elected representatives who practiced fiscal responsibility and pursued educational and democratic reforms. Because black history was excluded from public school curricula, the ASNLH also spearheaded the movement that brought about Negro History Week (later to be a month), observed first in African American communities and then in the nation at large. The second week of February was chosen because it marked the birthdays of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, and the great black freedom fighter, Frederick Douglass. Black leaders believed that a celebration of the lives of Lincoln and Douglass would evolve into the study of African Americans in general.

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