Black Charlestonians : a social history, 1822-1885 (Book, 1994) [WorldCat.org]
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Black Charlestonians : a social history, 1822-1885
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Black Charlestonians : a social history, 1822-1885

Author: Bernard Edward Powers
Publisher: Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This revisionist work delineates the major social and economic contours of the large black population in the pivotal Southern city of Charleston, S.C., historical seaport center for the slave trade. The work draws upon census data, manuscript collections, and newspaper accounts to expand our knowledge of this particular community of nineteenth-century black urbanites. Although the federal government codified the
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Powers, Bernard Edward.
Black Charlestonians.
Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1994
(OCoLC)988568789
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Bernard Edward Powers
ISBN: 1557283648 9781557283641
OCLC Number: 30033243
Description: xi, 377 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Slavery in antebellum Charleston --
Free black life in antebellum and Civil War Charleston --
"An earnest assertion of manhood" --
The search for economic security --
"The great work before us" --
Class, status, and social life in the black community --
"Behold a new Zion" --
"An equal chance in the race of life."
Responsibility: Bernard E. Powers, Jr.

Abstract:

This revisionist work delineates the major social and economic contours of the large black population in the pivotal Southern city of Charleston, S.C., historical seaport center for the slave trade. The work draws upon census data, manuscript collections, and newspaper accounts to expand our knowledge of this particular community of nineteenth-century black urbanites. Although the federal government codified the rights of African-Americans into law following the Civil War, it was the initiatives taken by black men and women that actually transformed the theoretical benefits of emancipation into clear achievement.

Because of its large free black population, Charleston provided a case study of black social-class stratification and social mobility even before the war. Reconstruction only emphasized that stratification, and Powers examines in detail the aspirations and concessions that shaped the lives of the newly freed blacks - led by a black upper class that sometimes seemed more inclined to emulate white social mores than act as a vanguard for fundamental social change. Unlike most Reconstruction studies, which concentrate on politics, Black Charlestonians explores the era's vital socioeconomic challenges for blacks as they emerged into full citizenship in an important city in the South.

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