Presents an encyclopedic view of the material culture of slaves in the United States from the seventeenth century to the end of the Civil War, documenting education, food and drink, music, religion, and oral culture.
Documenting multiple aspects of slavery and its development in North America, this collection provides more than one hundred excerpts from personal accounts, songs, legal documents, diaries, letters, and other written sources. The book assembles a remarkable portrayal of the day-to-day connections between, and among, slaves and their owners across more than two centuries of subjugation and resistance, despair and hope. Beginning with a chronicle of the origins of slavery in the British colonies of North America, the collection traces the growth of the system to the antebellum period and includes accounts of slave revolts, auctions, slave travel and laws, and family life. Intimate as well as comprehensive, the documents reveal the individual views, goals, and lives of slaves and their masters, making this engaging work one of the most respected catalogs of firsthand information about slavery in North America.
While the black experience in America has been told in many ways, it has seldom, if ever, been substantially addressed from the play, recreation, and leisure perspective. That is the primary intent of Black Recreation: A Historical Perspective. One might ask, why is the recreation and leisure paradigm a useful means of exploring the black experience? Leisure and recreation activities are an important measure of quality of life (among other factors such as happiness, wealth, and health). We can gain a significant understanding of the black experience through historical analysis of black involvement and participation in play, recreation, and leisure in America. Historical interpretation, accurately presented, can help give individuals a better sense of identity-of who they are and how far they have come. Both minority and majority readers will benefit from broad-based analysis of the recreational activities and effects they had on American culture as a whole. A Burnham Publishers book
This study explores contemporary novels, films, performances, and reenactments that depict American slavery and its traumatic effects by invoking a time-travel paradigm to produce a representational strategy of "bodily epistemology." Disrupting the prevailing view of traumatic knowledge that claims that traumatic events are irretrievable and accessible only through oblique reference, these novels and films circumvent the notion of indirect reference by depicting a replaying of the past, forcing present-day protagonists to witness and participate in traumatic histories that for them are neither dead nor past. Lisa Woolfork cogently analyzes how these works deploy a representational strategy that challenges the divide between past and present, imparting to their recreations of American slavery a physical and emotional energy to counter America's apathetic or amnesiac attitude about the trauma of the slave past.
In Black Bodies, White Gold Anna Arabindan-Kesson uses cotton, a commodity central to the slave trade and colonialism, as a focus for new interpretations of the way art, commerce, and colonialism were intertwined in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. In doing so, Arabindan-Kesson models an art historical approach that makes the histories of the Black diaspora central to nineteenth-century cultural production. She traces the emergence of a speculative vision that informs perceptions of Blackness in which artistic renderings of cotton—as both commodity and material—became inexorably tied to the monetary value of Black bodies. From the production and representation of “negro cloth”—the textile worn by enslaved plantation workers—to depictions of Black sharecroppers in photographs and paintings, Arabindan-Kesson demonstrates that visuality was the mechanism through which Blackness and cotton became equated as resources for extraction. In addition to interrogating the work of nineteenth-century artists, she engages with contemporary artists such as Hank Willis Thomas, Lubaina Himid, and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, who contend with the commercial and imperial processes shaping constructions of Blackness and meanings of labor.
Given the unique history of African Americans and their diverse religious flowering in Black Christianity, the Nation of Islam, voodoo, and others, what is the heart and soul of African American religious life? As a leader in both Black religious studies and theology, Anthony Pinn has probed the dynamism and variety of African American religious expressions. In this work, based on the Edward Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham, England, he searches out the basic structure of Black religion, tracing the Black religious spirit in its many historical manifestations. Pinn finds in the terrors of enslavement of Black bodies and subsequent oppressions the primal experience to which the Black religious impulse provides a perennial and cumulative response. Oppressions entailed the denial of personhood and creation of an object: the negro. Slave auctions, punishments, and, later, lynchings created an existential dread but also evoked a quest, a search, for complex subjectivity or authentic personhood that still fuels Black religion today. In this 20th anniversary edition of Pinn's groundbreaking work, the author offers a new reflection on the argument in retrospect and invites a panel of five contemporary scholars to examine what it means for current and future scholarship. Contributors include Keri Day, Sylvester Johnson, Anthony G. Reddie, Calvin Warren, and Carol Wayne White.