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Chapter 8 Antebellum Free Blacks From Slavery to Freedom 9 th ed.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8 Antebellum Free Blacks From Slavery to Freedom 9 th ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 8 Antebellum Free Blacks From Slavery to Freedom 9 th ed.

2 Freedom’s Boundaries Black Laws Missouri Compromise part of larger debate within individual states about civil status of free blacks Many states passed laws barring in-migration of free blacks Fear that free blacks would threaten slavery; desire to limit black population © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2

3 Freedom’s Boundaries Migration West Alexis de Tocqueville – paradox of racial intolerance in states where slavery never existed Despite laws and cultural hostility, free black population grew dramatically in the Midwest Blacks continued to head west in search of economic opportunity Disfranchisement Free blacks’ political rights declined everywhere Pennsylvania revised constitution to disfranchise © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3

4 Freedom’s Boundaries By end of Antebellum period, only New England states gave black men unrestricted right of suffrage Demographics Black population continued to grow, but relative to the entire U.S. population the percentage of free blacks began to decline Increasingly rigid manumission laws Significant increase in European immigrants © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 4

5 In a Culture of Racism Minstrel Shows Blackface white actor performed caricatured images, dialect speech, and song Promoted stereotypical images like “Jim Crow” Ethnology Professed methods and theories that stressed innate and immutable racial traits Craniology – blacks have smaller skull size, thus lower intelligence Polygenesis – races emerged from different human origins and are therefore different human species © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5

6 In a Culture of Racism Bigotry and Prejudice Word nigger began to be used as a term of racial disparagement Collective acts of animosity directed at free blacks became common Mob Violence Free blacks scapegoated for diminished economic prospects of white workers Riots, murders, and destruction of churches, schools, and orphanages occurred in Midwest and Northeast © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6

7 In a Culture of Racism South vs. North Blacks mistreated in North and West to delight of southern slaveholders who enjoyed playing up northern hostility In the North, however, blacks could agitate and organize for their rights; could enter professions and jobs barred from them in the South Southern freedom tenuous Slip could send back to slavery Controls over free blacks continued to increase Prohibition on in-migration; re-enslavement laws © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7

8 Economic and Social Life Trades and Professions Restrictions on employment; but free blacks were required to work Skilled and unskilled blacks found employment in areas experiencing labor shortages Lower South had largest proportion of free black and skilled positions © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 8

9 Economic and Social Life Property Ownership Regional differences in property ownership Property “owned” by southern blacks included enslaved family members © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9

10 10 African American barber

11 Economic and Social Life Urban Life in the North Northern Antebellum blacks more likely than whites to live in cities Boston Smallest free black community of northern seaport cities Residential segregation created geographical concentration of the black community Certain positions, like porter, held higher prestige Upper class and middle class were strong in tradition of protest thought © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11

12 Economic and Social Life New York More affluent than black Bostonians Clearly demarcated economic and cultural differences among blacks Many opportunities for interracial mixing among lower classes Philadelphia Distinct three-tiered class structure among free blacks Active in temperance crusade © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12

13 Economic and Social Life Mutual Aid Organizations Free blacks formed organizations to bind themselves together socially and culturally Outlawed in many southern states Cultural Contributions Free black poets, playwrights, historians, newspaper editors, and artists contributed to development of African American culture George Moses Horton; Daniel Alexander Paine; Harriet E. Wilson; Robert S. Duncanson © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13

14 Education Opportunities in the North By eve of Civil War, educational opportunities widely available for black education in North Educational opportunities varied widely among states and communities In 1855, Massachusetts legislature prohibited segregated schools Opportunities in the South Harder for southern free blacks to get education No public schools, even for white children Public sentiment against free black education © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14

15 Education Higher Education Northern free blacks began to attend institutions of higher education during antebellum period Some schools that became predominantly black institutions opened during this time © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 15

16 Black Convention Movement Black delegates met to “devise ways and means for the bettering of our condition” The Rochester Convention Over 100 people gathered and formed the National Council of Colored People Sought to advance equal rights and end slavery Fostering Group Consciousness Conventions way to promote collective discussion and action © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16

17 Black Convention Movement Public Image and Behavior Debated name that identified them as a people and a race Leaders emphasized group and individual behavior – stressing temperance, church attendance, and thrift Biblical Imagery Used religious imagery in addressing issues Drew repeatedly on Exodus © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17

18 Black Women Women Take Public Action Free black women attempt to bring gender inequality into discussion on racial inequality Free black women enlisted in public movements for black freedom Jarena Lee Maria Stewart One of earliest and most outspoken advocates of women’s rights and abolition Considered the first black feminist © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18

19 © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19 Portrait of Jarena Lee

20 Black Women Sojourner Truth Best known black women in women’s rights and abolitionist movements Exposed the socially constructed character of gender © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20

21 The Debate on Emigration Efforts at Mass Colonization Despite schemes to deport free blacks, no more than 15,000 migrated outside U.S. The American Colonization Society (ACS) responsible for transporting most Mass colonization proved unworkable Not economically feasible Could not agree on single program because of varying motives of ACS members © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21

22 The Debate on Emigration Opposition to the ACS Opposition grew steadily among black and white abolitionists, although recurring discussions of emigration continued at conventions into the 1850s Emigration supporters like H. Ford Douglas, James Theodore Holly, and Martin R. Delany distanced themselves from the ACS © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22

23 © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 23 Map of Monrovia, Liberia, ca 1830

24 The Debate on Emigration The National Emigration Convention Promoted black-led emigration movement Douglas, Holly, and Delany vocal supporters Factionalism over whether Canada, Africa, or Haiti was best place to emigrate to Mary Ann Shadd Cary was strongest female emigrationist voice © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24


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