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Life in black and white : family and community in the slave South

Author: Brenda E Stevenson
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Life in Black and White provides a panoramic portrait of family and community life in and around Loudoun County, Virginia - weaving the fascinating personal stories of planters and slaves, of free blacks and poor-to-middling whites, into a powerful portrait of southern society from the mid-eighteenth century to the Civil War.
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Stevenson, Brenda E.
Life in black and white.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1996
(OCoLC)605357771
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brenda E Stevenson
ISBN: 0195095367 9780195095364 0195118030 9780195118032
OCLC Number: 32509202
Awards: Winner of Named an Outstanding Book on the subject of human rights in North America by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.
Description: xv, 457 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: pt. 1. Marriage, family, and the Loudoun white community --
The white community : patterns of settlement, development, and conflict --
Gender convention and courtship --
Marriage, for better or for worse --
Parenting --
Broken vows and "notorious" endings : divorce --
pt. 2. Black life, family, and community --
The nature of Loudoun slavery --
Slave family structure --
Slave marriage and family relations --
Free blacks --
Free black family and household economy.
Responsibility: Brenda E. Stevenson.
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Abstract:

Life in Black and White provides a panoramic portrait of family and community life in and around Loudoun County, Virginia - weaving the fascinating personal stories of planters and slaves, of free blacks and poor-to-middling whites, into a powerful portrait of southern society from the mid-eighteenth century to the Civil War.

Stevenson brilliantly recounts their stories as she builds the complex picture of their intertwined lives, revealing how their combined histories guaranteed Loudoun's role in important state, regional, and national events and controversies. Both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, for example, were hidden at a local plantation during the War of 1812. James Monroe wrote his famous "Monroe Doctrine" at his Loudoun estate. The area also was the birthplace of celebrated fugitive slave Daniel Dangerfield, the home of John Janney, chairman of the Virginia secession convention, a center for Underground Railroad activities, and the location of John Brown's infamous 1859 raid at Harper's Ferry.

Most important, Stevenson breaks new ground in her depiction of slave family life. Following the lead of historian Herbert Gutman, most scholars have accepted the idea that, like whites, slaves embraced the nuclear family, both as a living reality and an ideal. Stevenson destroys this notion, showing that the harsh realities of slavery, even for those who belonged to such attentive masters as George Washington, allowed little possibility of a nuclear family. Far more important were extended kin networks and female headed households.

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Brenda Stevenson has written an eloquent, original, and humane book on the most intimate aspects of life in the antebellum South. * Edward L. Ayers, Professor of History, The University of Virginia, Read more...

 
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