African American History

Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington D.C.

Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington D.C.

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From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, African Americans in the Washington, D.C. area sought leisure destinations where they could relax without the burden of racial oppression. Local picnic parks such as Eureka and Madre's were accessible by streetcars. Black-owned steamboats ferried passengers seeking sun and sand to places like Collingwood Beach, and African American families settled into quiet beach-side communities along the Western Shore of Maryland. Author and public historian Patsy M. Fletcher reveals the history behind Washington's forgotten era of African American leisure. Train-related excursions chapters including Storer College, Harpers Ferry and Island Park.
Images of America African Americans of Jefferson County

Images of America African Americans of Jefferson County

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Jefferson County can proudly claim a large number of firsts when it comes to African Americans in national history. The raid to free slaves that served as a catalyst for the Civil War was led by abolitionist John Brown in Harpers Ferry. The first man wounded in the rebellion was Heyward Shepherd, a free African American and a Jefferson County resident. Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Jefferson County native Martin Robison Delany as the first African American field officer of the Civil War. In 1906, the Niagara Movement, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), held its first meeting on American soil on the Storer College campus. The first woman to become the coach of a menÂ’s college basketball team was also an African American from Jefferson County. Additionally, the Colored Horse Show held in Charles Town was the first of its kind for African Americans.
In the Watchfires: The Loudoun County Emancipation Association, 1890-1971

In the Watchfires: The Loudoun County Emancipation Association, 1890-1971

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Lincoln and Emancipation

Lincoln and Emancipation

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In this succinct study, Edna Greene Medford examines the ideas and events that shaped President Lincoln's responses to slavery, following the arc of his ideological development from the beginning of the Civil War, when he aimed to pursue a course of noninterference, to his championing of slavery's destruction before the conflict ended. Throughout, Medford juxtaposes the president's motivations for advocating freedom with the aspirations of African Americans themselves, restoring African Americans to the center of the story about the struggle for their own liberation.

Lincoln and African Americans, Medford argues, approached emancipation differently, with the president moving slowly and cautiously in order to save the Union while the enslaved and their supporters pressed more urgently for an end to slavery. Despite the differences, an undeclared partnership existed between the president and slaves that led to both preservation of the Union and freedom for those in bondage. Medford chronicles Lincoln's transition from advocating gradual abolition to campaigning for immediate emancipation for the majority of the enslaved, a change effected by the military and by the efforts of African Americans. The author argues that many players--including the abolitionists and Radical Republicans, War Democrats, and black men and women--participated in the drama through agitation, military support of the Union, and destruction of the institution from within. Medford also addresses differences in the interpretation of freedom: Lincoln and most Americans defined it as the destruction of slavery, but African Americans understood the term to involve equality and full inclusion into American society. An epilogue considers Lincoln's death, African American efforts to honor him, and the president's legacy at home and abroad.

Both enslaved and free black people, Medford demonstrates, were fervent participants in the emancipation effort, showing an eagerness to get on with the business of freedom long before the president or the North did. By including African American voices in the emancipation narrative, this insightful volume offers a fresh and welcome perspective on Lincoln's America.

Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

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In Lincoln Lessons, seventeen of today's most respected academics, historians, lawyers, and politicians provide candid reflections on the importance of Abraham Lincoln in their intellectual lives. Their essays, gathered by editors Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson, shed new light on this political icon's remarkable ability to lead and inspire two hundred years after his birth.

Collected here are glimpses into Lincoln's unique ability to transform enemies into steadfast allies, his deeply ingrained sense of morality and intuitive understanding of humanity, his civil deification as the first assassinated American president, and his controversial suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The contributors also discuss Lincoln's influence on today's emerging democracies, his lasting impact on African American history, and his often-overlooked international legend--his power to instigate change beyond the boundaries of his native nation. While some contributors provide a scholarly look at Lincoln and some take a more personal approach, all explore his formative influence in their lives. What emerges is the true history of his legacy in the form of first-person testaments from those whom he has touched deeply.

Lincoln Lessons brings together some of the best voices of our time in a unique combination of memoir and history. This singular volume of original essays is a tribute to the enduring inspirational powers of an extraordinary man whose courage and leadership continue to change lives today.

Contributors

Jean H. Baker

Mario M. Cuomo

Joan L. Flinspach

Sara Vaughn Gabbard

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Harold Holzer

Harry V. Jaffa

John F. Marszalek

James M. McPherson

Edna Greene Medford

Sandra Day O'Connor

Mackubin Thomas Owens

William D. Pederson

Edward Steers Jr.

Craig L. Symonds

Thomas Reed Turner

Frank J. Williams

My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery

My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery

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In the midst of the Great Depression, the Federal Writer's Project assigned field workers to interview ex-slaves. More than 2,000 former slaves contributed their personal accounts and opinions, and their oral histories were deposited in the Library of Congress.

The former slaves describe the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the houses they lived in, the type of work they did, and the treatment they received. They tell their impressions of Yankee soldiers, the Klan, their masters, and their new-found freedom.

Because the interviews were conducted during the Great Depression, some of the narratives provide insights that are at times surprising. These interviews have preserved a valuable source of information about the institution of slavery in the United States and the effect it had on the people involved.

"One day Grandpappy sassed Miss Polly White, and she told him that if he didn't behave hisself that she would put him in her pocket. Grandpappy was a big man, and I ask him how Miss Polly could do that. He said she meant that she would sell him, then put the money in her pocket. He never did sass Miss Polly no more."--Sarah Debro

These eloquent words come from former slaves themselves--an important but long-neglected source of information about the institution of slavery in the United States. Who could better describe what slavery was like than the people who experienced it? And describe it they did, in thousands of remarkable interviews sponsored by the Federal Writers Project during the 1930's

Over 2,000 slave narratives that are now housed in the Library of Congress. More than 170 interviews were conducted in North Carolina. Belinda Hurmence pored over each of the North Carolina narratives, compiling and editing 21 of the first-person accounts for this collection.

These narratives, though artless in many ways, speak compellingly of the joys and sorrows, the hopes and dreams, of the countless people who endured human bondage in the land of the free.

Niagara Movement Bookmark
Niagara Movement Bookmark

Niagara Movement Bookmark

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7" x 2.25" gloss cover stock
Niagara Unframed Photograph 11x14

Niagara Unframed Photograph 11x14

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Photographed August 20, 2006, on the third day of celebration to honor those who had gathered 100 years before.This photograph was taken to memorialize the centennial of the Niagara Movement in Harpers Ferry, WV. Those that gathered to have their picture taken were duplicating what the original members had done during their 1906 conference. Available unframed size 11” x 14”.
Niagara Unframed Photograph 8x10

Niagara Unframed Photograph 8x10

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Photographed August 20, 2006, on the third day of celebration to honor those who had gathered 100 years before.This photograph was taken to memorialize the centennial of the Niagara Movement in Harpers Ferry, WV. Those that gathered to have their picture taken were duplicating what the original members had done during their 1906 conference. Available unframed size 8” x 10”
Picturing Frederick Douglass

Picturing Frederick Douglass

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Commemorating the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass's birthday and featuring images discovered since its original publication in 2015, this "tour de force" (Library Journal, starred review) reintroduced Frederick Douglass to a twenty-first-century audience. From these pages--which include over 160 photographs of Douglass, as well as his previously unpublished writings and speeches on visual aesthetics--we learn that neither Custer nor Twain, nor even Abraham Lincoln, was the most photographed American of the nineteenth century. Indeed, it was Frederick Douglass, the ex-slave-turned-abolitionist, eloquent orator, and seminal writer, who is canonized here as a leading pioneer in photography and a prescient theorist who believed in the explosive social power of what was then just an emerging art form.

Featuring:

  • Contributions from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (a direct Douglass descendent)
  • 160 separate photographs of Douglass--many of which have never been publicly seen and were long lost to history
  • A collection of contemporaneous artwork that shows how powerful Douglass's photographic legacy remains today, over a century after his death
  • All Douglass's previously unpublished writings and speeches on visual aesthetics