(searched for: doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195139273.001.0001)
Published: 5 December 2014
Journal: Revue Lisa / Lisa E-Journal
Revue Lisa / Lisa E-Journal; https://doi.org/10.4000/lisa.6918
I received valuable feedback and insights on these three moments of interaction from the participants at the Annual International Women’s Day Seminar (Department of Justice, Canada, March 7, 2012) as well as from the students enrolled in my “Les femmes et le droit” course (Fall 2012) at the University of Ottawa. I thank Lauren Barney and Surinder Multani for their research assistance and the Law Foundation of Ontario for their financial support.
Published: 11 August 2009
Journal: Journal of African American Studies
Journal of African American Studies, Volume 14, pp 337-358; https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-009-9104-7
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 1 January 2003
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 1 January 2002
by Project Muse
Journal: Reviews in American History
Reviews in American History, Volume 30, pp 439-444; https://doi.org/10.1353/rah.2002.0049
Reviews in American History 30.3 (2002) 439-444 Few black women born in the nineteenth century are well known today, but the ones we do know about are larger than life. They are improbable figures, whose achievements seem to be dictated by sheer force of personality. Take, for instance, ex-slave Harriet Tubman, the legendary "black Moses," who led scores of slaves to freedom in an era when few female slaves managed to free even themselves. The intrepid Tubman also served as a guide on Union gun-boats during the Civil War. Moreover, her daring exploits seem all the more unlikely given that Tubman was partially disabled by a head injury she received in her youth. (Tubman was given to fits of what her nineteenth-century biographers called "somnolency"—sudden brief episodes of deep sleep, or what would today be termed narcolepsy.) 1 Likewise, Sojourner Truth, another famous ex-slave, also had a career that defied all odds. Raised a domestic, she never learned to read and write, and yet she sustained a thirty-year career as an influential public speaker, lecturing not only on abolition, but women's rights, women's suffrage, and temperance. 2 Less well know, but equally remarkable, is black abolitionist Maria Stewart, self educated and a servant in her youth, who in 1831 somehow had the gall to become the first American women—black or white—to give a public lecture. 3 And finally, as improbable of any of them, there is the slave-born Ida B. Wells, who achieved international renown as an anti-lynching crusader in the 1890s, and whose career of relentless political activism led American military intelligence to deem her in 1918 a "'far more dangerous agitator than Marcus Garvey'" (p. 157). Orphaned at age sixteen, Wells, whose life and thought is chronicled by Patricia A. Schechter in her new book Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1830, was hardly groomed for fame and influence by her upbringing. Her father was a carpenter, her mother a cook, and when they died along with one of Wells's six younger siblings during a yellow fever epidemic that struck Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1878, the young Ida Wells was left parent to five [End Page 439] brothers and sisters. 4 A sixteen-year-old student at Rust College at the time of her parents' deaths, Wells cut short her education and refused adult offers to take in her siblings in the wake of the tragedy. Instead, she had her dresses "lengthened," as she puts it her autobiography, and took over the household, which she supported by accepting a teaching position at a country school. 5 Wells's anti-lynching crusade was only one facet of a life of extraordinary achievements, as her early life suggests. Her education never completed and struggling to raise five children, Wells still somehow managed to become "the most accomplished African-American woman journalist of her generation" by her late 20s—contemporaries crowned her "Princess of the Press." 6 Moreover, during same years that Wells came of age and taught herself to be journalist in Memphis, where she moved her family in 1883, she also pursued two court cases against the railroads. Inaugurating her career as both an activist and a journalist shortly after her arrival in Memphis, Wells sued the Chesapeake Ohio & Southwestern railroad twice after being forcibly ejected from the seats she had purchased in a first-class car—also known as the "ladies car"—by conductors intent on policing the color line. Wells initially won her suits, but lost them on appeal—struggles she chronicled in her first published articles. Her famous anti-lynching crusade and subsequent career as an activist in Chicago merely extended Wells's early record of activities and accomplishments undertaken utterly against the odds. Wells's career, like those of the very...
Memories of slavery disgrace the race, and race perpetuates memories of slavery. Tocqueville Four million slaves were liberated at the end of the civil war. The exact figure was 3,953,696 (1860) which represents about 12.6 percent of the total American population and 32 percent of the Southern population (these figures also are from 1860, but there was no dramatic change during the civil war). The free black population in the United States in 1860 was 488,070 and in the South 261,918 (Kolchin 1993:241–42). In the first comprehensive historical account written by a black man, George Washington Williams offered this description: “Here were four million human beings without clothing, shelter, homes, and alas! most of them without names. The galling harness of slavery had been cut off of their weary bodies, and like a worn out beast of burden they stood in their tracks scarcely able to go anywhere”(1882:378). This was written nearly twenty years after the event and is an act of remembrance as much as historical writing. The author was part of a literary mobilization of a new black middle class emerging after the civil war which aimed at countering the image of blacks being put forward by whites, as the “full and complete” integration promised by radical reconstruction gave way to new forms of racial segregation in the South and elsewhere.
In this book, Ron Eyerman explores the formation of the African-American identity through the theory of cultural trauma. The trauma in question is slavery, not as an institution or as personal experience, but as collective memory: a pervasive remembrance that grounded a people's sense of itself. Combining a broad narrative sweep with more detailed studies of important events and individuals, Eyerman reaches from Emancipation through the Harlem Renaissance, the Depression, the New Deal and the Second World War to the Civil Rights movement and beyond. He offers insights into the intellectual and generational conflicts of identity-formation which have a truly universal significance, as well as providing a compelling account of the birth of African-American identity. Anyone interested in questions of assimilation, multiculturalism and postcolonialism will find this book indispensable.