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A nation under our feet : Black political struggles in the rural South, from slavery to the great migration

Author: Steven Hahn
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This is the epic story of how African-Americans, in the six decades following slavery, transformed themselves into a political people-an embryonic black nation. As Steven Hahn demonstrates, rural African-Americans were central political actors in the great events of disunion, emancipation, and nation-building. At the same time, Hahn asks us to think in more expansive ways about the nature and boundaries of politics  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Hahn, Steven, 1951-
Nation under our feet.
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003
(OCoLC)607076087
Online version:
Hahn, Steven, 1951-
Nation under our feet.
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003
(OCoLC)608535626
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Steven Hahn
ISBN: 0674011694 9780674011694 067401765X 9780674017658
OCLC Number: 51898845
Awards: Pulitzer Prize, History, 2004.
Description: viii, [16] p. of plates, 610 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Prologue: Looking out from slavery --
pt 1. "The Jacobins of the country". --
Of chains and threads --
"The choked voice of a race at last unloosed --
Of rumors and revelations --
pt 2. To build a new Jerusalem. --
Reconstructing the body politic --
" A society turned bottomside up" --
Of paramilitary politics --
pt 3. The unvanquished. --
The education of Henry Adams --
Of ballots and biracialism --
The valley and the shadows --
Epilogue: "Up, you mighty race".
Responsibility: Steven Hahn.
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Abstract:

This is the epic story of how African-Americans, in the six decades following slavery, transformed themselves into a political people-an embryonic black nation. As Steven Hahn demonstrates, rural African-Americans were central political actors in the great events of disunion, emancipation, and nation-building. At the same time, Hahn asks us to think in more expansive ways about the nature and boundaries of politics and political practice. Emphasizing the importance of kinship, labor, and networks of communication, A Nation under Our Feet explores the political relations and sensibilities that developed under slavery and shows how they set the stage for grassroots mobilization. Hahn introduces us to local leaders, and shows how political communities were built, defended, and rebuilt. He also identifies the quest for self-governance as an essential goal of black politics across the rural South, from contests for local power during Reconstruction, to emigrationism, biracial electoral alliances, social separatism, and, eventually, migration. Hahn suggests that Garveyism and other popular forms of black nationalism absorbed and elaborated these earlier struggles, thus linking the first generation of migrants to the urban North with those who remained in the South. He offers a new framework-looking out from slavery-to understand twentieth-century forms of black political consciousness as well as emerging battles for civil rights. It is a powerful story, told here for the first time, and one that presents both an inspiring and a troubling perspective on American democracy. Emphasizing the role of kinship, labor, and networks in the African-American community, the author retraces six generations of black struggles since the end of the Civil War, revealing a "nation" under construction throughout this entire period.

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