The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth-Century South / Edition 1

The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth-Century South / Edition 1

by Dylan C. Penningroth
     
 

ISBN-10: 080785476X

ISBN-13: 9780807854761

Pub. Date: 09/22/2003

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

In The Claims of Kinfolk, Dylan Penningroth uncovers an extensive informal economy of property ownership among slaves and sheds new light on African American family and community life from the heyday of plantation slavery to the "freedom generation" of the 1870s. By focusing on relationships among blacks, as well as on the more familiar struggles between the

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Overview

In The Claims of Kinfolk, Dylan Penningroth uncovers an extensive informal economy of property ownership among slaves and sheds new light on African American family and community life from the heyday of plantation slavery to the "freedom generation" of the 1870s. By focusing on relationships among blacks, as well as on the more familiar struggles between the races, Penningroth exposes a dynamic process of community and family definition. He also includes a comparative analysis of slavery and slave property ownership along the Gold Coast in West Africa, revealing significant differences between the African and American contexts.
Property ownership was widespread among slaves across the antebellum South, as slaves seized the small opportunities for ownership permitted by their masters. While there was no legal framework to protect or even recognize slaves' property rights, an informal system of acknowledgment recognized by both blacks and whites enabled slaves to mark the boundaries of possession. In turn, property ownership—and the negotiations it entailed—influenced and shaped kinship and community ties. Enriching common notions of slave life, Penningroth reveals how property ownership engendered conflict as well as solidarity within black families and communities. Moreover, he demonstrates that property had less to do with individual legal rights than with constantly negotiated, extralegal social ties.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807854761
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
09/22/2003
Series:
The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Edition description:
1
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,289,660
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.77(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Kinship and the Slaves' Economy from Slavery to Freedom1
Ch. 1One of the Family? Abolition and Social Claims to Property in the Gold Coast, West Africa, 1868-193013
Ch. 2Slavery's Other Economy45
Ch. 3Family and Property in Southern Slavery79
Ch. 4In and Out of Court111
Ch. 5Remaking Property131
Ch. 6Remaking Kinship and Community163
Conclusion187
Notes193
Bibliography271
Acknowledgments293
Index297

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