Co-Sponsored by the Newberry Library, the University of Chicago, and Trinity Christian College
Saturday, February 25, 2006, 11:00am-3:00pm
The Newberry Library
"Building Up a Country of Their Own": Garveyism and the African American Search for Rural Independence, 1920-1929
Jarod H. Roll, Northwestern University
Why was Marcus Garvey's black nationalism at the center of the civic lives of the thousands of African American farmers who moved into southeast Missouri's new cotton lands in the 1920s? This chapter examines the appeal of Garveyism among the relatively successful black male landowners and renters who led the migration to Missouri. I argue that Garveyism situated their search for agrarian independence within a radical movement for the liberation of the race and, at the same time, provided a top-down model of economic advancement that reinforced their paternalistic control of the social and work hierarchies within their communities.
Confederate Occupation and Freedom Networks: Slaves, Freedpeople, and the Making of Emancipation
Justin Behrend, Northwestern University
This paper explores the development of slaves and newly freedpeople's political consciousness during the Civil War. In particular, it focuses on the contours of communication networks among ordinary African Americans, and how they struggled to understand the implications of state power - both Confederate and Union - for their daily lives. Whether they chose to enlist in the army, work for wages on a distant plantation, or just to stay at home in the quarters, freedpeople redrew the lines that had once bounded their world, and they laid the foundation for a broad-based political community.
Race, Gender, and Land Ownership in the Nineteenth Century:
The Case of Tres Alamos, Arizona
Katherin Benton-Cohen, Louisiana State University
Tiny Tres Alamos, Arizona, tells us what the Southwest might have become. The town's settlers, who included Mexicans, Germans, Euro-Americans, and African Americans, confound modern notions of race and nation. By the late 1860s, a broad base of land ownership fostered remarkable cooperation. In the face of Apache warfare, this diverse group considered itself "white" in relation to the Indian "other." These men and women created canal companies, fought Apaches, married into each other's families, voted together, and created a school for their children - all with little regard to race. Civil law and U.S. homestead laws fostered Mexican-American women's land ownership. Conflicts over water rights cleaved the community, but not along racial or gendered lines. It was a world of possibility.
All papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Ginger Shulick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312.255.3524.
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