Defining Moments: African American Commemoration and Political Culture in the South, 1863-1913 [NOOK Book]

Overview

The historical memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction has earned increasing attention from scholars. Only recently, however, have historians begun to explore African American efforts to interpret those events. With Defining Moments, Kathleen Clark shines new light on African American commemorative traditions in the South, where events such as Emancipation Day and Fourth of July ceremonies served as opportunities for African Americans to assert their own understandings of slavery, the Civil War, and ...
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Defining Moments: African American Commemoration and Political Culture in the South, 1863-1913

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Overview

The historical memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction has earned increasing attention from scholars. Only recently, however, have historians begun to explore African American efforts to interpret those events. With Defining Moments, Kathleen Clark shines new light on African American commemorative traditions in the South, where events such as Emancipation Day and Fourth of July ceremonies served as opportunities for African Americans to assert their own understandings of slavery, the Civil War, and Emancipation--efforts that were vital to the struggles to define, assert, and defend African American freedom and citizenship.

Focusing on urban celebrations that drew crowds from surrounding rural areas, Clark finds that commemorations served as critical forums for African Americans to define themselves collectively. As they struggled to assert their freedom and citizenship, African Americans wrestled with issues such as the content and meaning of black history, class-inflected ideas of respectability and progress, and gendered notions of citizenship. Clark's examination of the people and events that shaped complex struggles over public self-representation in African American communities brings new understanding of southern black political culture in the decades following Emancipation and provides a more complete picture of historical memory in the South.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An intriguing analysis of African-American celebrations of freedom during the late nineteenth century. . . . A worthy addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of the period."
Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Clark seeks to uplift and inspire with a steady drumbeat of African American agency and resistance on the long march to freedom."
Journal of American History

"Through vivid, evocative stories, Clark charts an ongoing public debate among African Americans about how to narrate their history and define the nature of their progress since Emancipation. The book's high points are its close examinations of people or events that reflect the complexities of this struggle; Clark's discussions of Augusta's Emancipation Day and of the career of Charles Hunter bring lost worlds to life.(Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison) "

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807876800
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/5/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,203,918
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Kathleen Ann Clark is assistant professor of history at the University of Georgia.

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