Emancipation's Diaspora: Race and Reconstruction in the Upper Midwest / Edition 1

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Overview

Most studies of emancipation's consequences have focused on the South. Moving the discussion to the North, Leslie Schwalm enriches our understanding of the national impact of the transition from slavery to freedom. Emancipation's Diaspora follows the lives and experiences of thousands of men and women who liberated themselves from slavery, made their way to overwhelmingly white communities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and worked to live in dignity as free women and men and as citizens.

Schwalm explores the hotly contested politics of black enfranchisement as well as collisions over segregation, civil rights, and the more informal politics of race--including how slavery and emancipation would be remembered and commemorated. She examines how gender shaped the politics of race, and how gender relations were contested and negotiated within the black community. Based on extensive archival research, Emancipation's Diaspora shows how in churches and schools, in voting booths and Masonic temples, in bustling cities and rural crossroads, black and white Midwesterners--women and men--shaped the local and national consequences of emancipation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Expand[s] our historical understanding of black migration and presence in the Midwest after the Civil War. . . . [The] diversity of sources . . . creates an especially rich base of evidence that tells the story of Iowa, but also of the region and the country as a whole. . . . An important book for all scholars of midwestern history.--Annals of Iowa
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Leslie A. Schwalm is associate professor of history, women's studies, and African American studies at the University of Iowa. She is author of A Hard Fight for We: Women's Transition from Slavery to Freedom in South Carolina.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 "A Full Realization of the Barbarities of Slavery" 9

Chapter 2 "A Time of Scattering" 43

Chapter 3 "Overrun with Free Negroes": The Politics of Wartime Emancipation and Migration in the Upper Midwest 81

Chapter 4 "To Go and Help Be Free": Migration and the Black Military Experience 107

Chapter 5 "The Building Up of Our Race": Creating a Life in Freedom 135

Chapter 6 "Freedom Was All They Had": Civil Rights and Northern Reconstruction 175

Chapter 7 "Agonizing Groans of Mothers" and "Slave-Scarred Veterans": History, Commemoration, and Memoir in the Aftermath of Slavery 219

Epilogue 265

Notes 267

Bibliography 339

Index 375

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