In the late nineteenth century, white Southerners imposed a system of constraints on African Americans, denying blacks their Constitutional rights, and, indeed, their human rights. This system—often violently enforced—was called “Jim Crow,” named after a minstrel song that stereotyped blacks. It included the disfranchisement of black men, the forcible segregation of blacks from whites in public spaces, and forms of state-sanctioned terrorism such as lynching, which included hanging, mutilating, and burning victims alive.
Over the next few weeks, Not Even Past will offer readers historical sources, readings, and commentary on these events. Last week, Mark Sheaves collected past articles devoted to the history of slavery and its legacy in the US and provided us with an annotated list.
Today we offer the historical analysis and commentary from journalists and historians primarily writing online. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more reading and news from the Task Force.
Not Even Past has published many feature articles, book and film reviews, and podcasts on slavery in the American South, brought together on this page. Approaching this topic from different angles, this body of work provides an overview of key issues important for anyone wanting to understand slavery and its lasting legacy.
Historians have been puzzled by the rapid development of slavery in English America in the last three quarters of the seventeenth century: Scott Irish indentured laborers, Algonquian prisoners of war, and captured Africans were pressed into slavery.
Slavery is an old and tenacious institution in human society. It is not unknown at present. Nor was it confined in the past to the plantations in the Americas that fed world trade after Europe’s overseas expansion in the 1500s. The practice was widespread in India and accepted and regulated by every regime extant in the region.
Glenn Cheney’s new book, Quilombo dos Palmares: Brazil’s Lost Nation of Fugitive Slaves, retraces the maroon community’s origins and casts new light upon the lived experiences of its diverse inhabitants.
We are appalled by these deaths. But we are equally appalled by our ability to make sense of them. We live embedded in the afterlife of slavery. We are a nation that has failed to grapple with our past.
People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t.
By Tania Sammons This essay is reproduced from the book we are featuring this month, Slavery and Freedom in Savannah, edited by Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris. If you would like to know more about the book and especially about the sidebars that feature short essays on interesting figures and events related to the […]
The Urban world made by slaves in the US South and the Atlantic.