Slavery and emancipation have been defining forces in the U.S., the consequences of which continue to shape our lives into the 21st century. African Americans still struggle against systems of oppression from voter suppression and mass incarceration to workplace and housing discrimination designed to privilege white Americans at the expense of their Black neighbors. These elements of white domination, born in enslaver strategies of plunder, retain their power in part because of the stories we tell. White Americans enjoy a national story that caters to their racial ideology built upon well-known stories of “great” white men and the absence of biographies of African Americans. This collection seeks to address that disparity.
Black Americans in the Age of Emancipationaims to tell the stories of African Americans from across the U.S. during the struggle against slavery. While building upon important works like Eric Foner’s Freedom’s Lawmakersand Phillip Dray’s Capitol Men, this collection hopes to harness the potential of the recent wave of digitization to better represent the lives and experiences of the Black folk who led a revolution for equality against slavery and state-sponsored white supremacy. These African American visionaries, from educated elites to working-class men and women, boldly challenged white elites and former enslavers. By giving voice to their stories, we hope to facilitate a more accurate depiction of American life and identity while continuing their struggle to transform the U.S.
We seek submissions for a multi-volume collection of African American biography examining the lived experiences of Black men, women, and children across the U.S. from 1830-1900. Proposals are due by October 31, 2019 and should be no more than 250 words for chapters of 8,000-10,000 words. Please also include a short contributor bio of no more than 100 words and email them to Caroline Grego (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lucien Holness (email@example.com), and William Horne (firstname.lastname@example.org).