Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $18.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 44%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $18.00   
  • New (4) from $32.22   
  • Used (4) from $18.00   


The meaning of race in the antebellum southern United States was anchored in the racial exclusivity of slavery (coded as black) and full citizenship (coded as white as well as male). These traditional definitions of race were radically disrupted after emancipation, when citizenship was granted to all persons born in the United States and suffrage was extended to all men. Hannah Rosen persuasively argues that in this critical moment of Reconstruction, contests over the future meaning of race were often fought on the terrain of gender.

Sexual violence—specifically, white-on-black rape—emerged as a critical arena in postemancipation struggles over African American citizenship. Analyzing the testimony of rape survivors, Rosen finds that white men often staged elaborate attacks meant to enact prior racial hierarchy. Through their testimony, black women defiantly rejected such hierarchy and claimed their new and equal rights. Rosen explains how heated debates over interracial marriage were also attempts by whites to undermine African American men's demands for suffrage and a voice in public affairs. By connecting histories of rape and discourses of "social equality" with struggles over citizenship, Rosen shows how gendered violence and gendered rhetorics of race together produced a climate of terror for black men and women seeking to exercise their new rights as citizens. Linking political events at the city, state, and regional levels, Rosen places gender and sexual violence at the heart of understanding the reconsolidation of race and racism in the postemancipation United States.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Interesting and sound. . . . Rosen makes a unique contribution.—Arkansas Historical Quarterly

An admirable job. . . . Invaluable to students of Reconstruction, race, or gender. . . . Highly recommended.—Choice

From the Publisher
"This book is a must-read for anyone studying Reconstruction.... Terror in the Heart of Freedom makes a significant contribution to our understanding of black women's notions of freedom, virtue, and citizenship."
-American Nineteenth Century History

"An excellent and important book. Rosen has made strong and thought-provoking connections between the politics of citizenship, gender constructions, and sexual violence in the South during Reconstruction. . . . An interesting and powerful work."
-Journal of American Ethnic History

"A significant contribution in our understanding of the meaning of gender roles, racial and sexual violence, and citizenship."
-The Alabama Review

"Interesting and sound. . . . Rosen makes a unique contribution."
-Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"Rosen's accomplishments in this book are impressive and many. Combining solid research with an astute analysis of political rhetoric, her conclusions . . . are persuasive. . . . Of value and interest to the specialist as well as the classroom teacher."
-Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

"An admirable job. . . . Invaluable to students of Reconstruction, race, or gender. . . . Highly recommended."

"[A] fascinating volume. . . . Convincingly demonstrates how many southern white men - whether politicians, rioters, or night riders - reacted with distaste or even fury to the new conceptions of African American citizenship in play during Reconstruction."
-North Carolina Historical Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807858820
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: Gender and American Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 423,191
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Hannah Rosen is assistant professor in the Program in American Culture and the Women's Studies Department at the University of Michigan.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I A City of Refuge: Emancipation in Memphis, 1862-1866

1 City Streets and Other Public Spaces 23

2 A Riot and Massacre 61

Part II A State of Mobilization: Politics in Arkansas, 1865-1868

3 The Capitol and Other Public Spheres 87

4 A Constitutional Convention 133

Part III A Region of Terror: Violence in the South, 1865-1876

5 Houses, Yards, and Other Domestic Domains 179

6 Testifying to Violence 222

Notes 243

Bibliography 355

Acknowledgments 381

Index 385

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)