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- DescriptionIn the antebellum South, the presence of free people of colour was problematic to the white population. Not only were they possible assistants to enslaved people and potential members of the labour force; their very existence undermined popular justifications for slavery. It is surprise that, by the end of the Civil War, nine Southern states had enacted legal provisions for the voluntary enslavement of free blacks. What is surprising to modern sensibilities and perplexing to scholars is that some individuals did petition to rescind their freedom. Family or Freedom investigates the incentives for free African Americans living in the antebellum South to sacrifice their liberty for a life in bondage. Author Emily West looks at the many factors influencing these dire decisions -- from desperate poverty to the threat of expulsion -- and demonstrates that the desire for family unity was the most important consideration for African Americans who submitted to voluntary enslavement. The first study of its kind to examine the phemen throughout the South, this meticulously researched volume offers the most thorough exploration of this complex issue to date.
- Author BiographyEmily West is lecturer in history at the University of Reading, UK and author of Chains of Love: Slave Couples in Antebellum South Carolina .
- Author(s)Emily West
- PublisherThe University Press of Kentucky
- Date of Publication15/09/2012
- SubjectPopular Culture & Media: General Interest
- Place of PublicationLexington
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintThe University Press of Kentucky
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight522 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
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