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The African presence in lower Manhattan, 1613-1863 (a topical reading list).

Required Texts:

Harris, Leslie M. In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

White, Shane. Somewhat More Independent: The End of Slavery in New York City, 1770-1810. Athens & London: The University of Georgia Press, 1991.



Supplementary Readings

Ira Berlin, "Time, Space, and the Evolution of Afro-American Society on British Mainland North America," American Historical Review LXXXV (February 1980): 44-78.

Sharon Block and Kathleen M. Brown, "Clio in Search of Eros: Redefining Sexualities in Early America;" Kirsten Fischer and Jennifer Morgan, "Sex, Race, and the Colonial Project;" Michael L. Wilson, "Thoughts on the History of Sexuality," William and Mary Quarterly 60 (January 2003): 5-12; 193-198.

Kathleen Brown, "Engendering Racial Difference, 1640-1670," in Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996).

Barbara Jeanne Fields, "Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United States of America," New Left Review 181 (May/June 1990): 95-118.

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, "African American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race," Signs 17 (1992): 251-274.

Shane White and Graham White, "Every Grain is Standing for Itself': African American Style in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," Australian Cultural History 13 (1994): 111-128.


Atlantic World

Supplementary Readings

Ira Berlin, "From Creole to African: Atlantic Creoles and the Origins of African-American Society in Mainland North America," William and Mary Quarterly LIII (April 1996): 251-288.

John Thornton, "The Birth of the Atlantic World," "The Development of Commerce Between Europeans and Africans," "Slavery and African Social Structure," "The Process of Enslavement and the Slave Trade," (Chapters 1-4) in Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World 1400-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

John Thornton, "Cannibals, Witches, and Slave Traders in the Atlantic World," William and Mary Quarterly 60 (April 2003): 273-294.


New York City

Leslie M. Harris, Chapter 1, "Slavery in Colonial New York," in In the Shadow of Slavery (Text)

Shane White, Chapter 1, "Slavery in New York City," in Somewhat More Independent (Text).

Supplementary Reading

Graham Russell Hodges, Chapter 1, "Free People and Slaves 1613-1664," in Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey (1999).


Slave Revolts

Supplementary Readings

Thelma Wills Foote, ""Some Hard Usage": The New York City Slave Revolt of 1712," New York Folklore XVIII (2000): 147-159.

Gerald W. Mullin, excerpts, Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in 18th Century Virginia (NY: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Walter Rucker, "Conjure, Magic, and Power: The Influence of Afro-Atlantic Religious Practices on Slave Resistance and Rebellion," Journal of Black Studies 32 (September 2001): 84-103.

John Thornton, "African Dimensions of the Stono Rebellion," American Historical Review 96 (1991): 1101-13.



Shane White, Chapter 5, "Running Away," in Somewhat More Independent (Text).

Supplementary Reading

David Waldstreicher, "Reading the Runaways: Self-Fashioning, Print Culture, and Confidence in Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic," William and Mary Quarterly LVI (April 1999): 243-272.

Jennifer Rae Greeson, "The "Mysteries and Miseries" of North Carolina: New York City, Urban Gothic Fiction, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," American Literature 73 (2001): 277-309.


Revolution and Emancipation

Leslie M. Harris, Chapter 2, "The Struggle against Slavery in Revolutionary and Early National New York," in In the Shadow of Slavery (Text).

Supplementary Readings:

Christopher L. Brown, "Empire Without Slaves: British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution," William and Mary Quarterly 56 (April 1999): 273-306.

Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Reiker, "The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, and the Atlantic Working Class in the Eighteenth Century," Journal of Historical Sociology 3 (September 1990): 225-252.

Gary Nash, "Forging Freedom: The Emancipation Experience in the Northern Seaport Cities, 1775-1820," in Ira Berlin and Ronald Hoffman eds., Slavery and Freedom in the Age of American Revolution (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 3-48.


Life and Work in the New Nation

Leslie M. Harris, Chapter 3, "Creating a Free Black Community in New York city during the Era of Emancipation," in In the Shadow of Slavery (Text).

Shane White, Chapter 6, "Free Blacks," in Somewhat More Independent (Text).

Supplementary Readings:

W. Jeffrey Bolster, "An Inner Diaspora: Black Sailors Making Selves," in Ron Hoffman, Michal Sobel and Fredrika Teute eds., Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity in Early America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). (CP)

Paul A. Gilje and Howard Rock, "'Sweep O! Sweep O!': African American Chimney Sweeps and Citizenship in the New Nation," William and Mary Quarterly 51 (July 1994): 507-538. (CP)


Black Activism in Post-Emancipation New York

Leslie M. Harris, Chapter 5, "Keeping Body and Soul Together: Charity Workers and Black Activism in Post-Emancipation New York City," in In the Shadow of Slavery (Text).

Supplementary Readings:

Mia Bay, ""Of One Blood God Created All the Nations of Men": African-Americans Respond to the Rise of Ideological Racism, 1789-1830," in The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830-1925 (2000): 13-37. (CP)

Nell Irvin Painter, "Representing Truth: Sojourner Truth's Knowing and Becoming Known," Journal of American History 81 (September 1994): 461-492. (CP)

Craig Wilder, "The Rise and Influence of the New York African Society for Mutual Relief," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 22 (1998): 7-18.


Culture I

Supplementary Readings

Annemarie Bean, "Transgressing the Gender Divide: The Female Impersonator in Nineteenth Century Black Face Minstrelsy," in Annemarie Bean, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara eds., Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996).

Eric Lott, "Love and Theft: "Racial" Production and the Social Unconscious of Blackface," in Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (1995): 38-62.

David R. Roediger, "Irish-American Workers and White Racial Formation in the Antebellum United States," in The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (1993): 133-163.

Benjamin Reiss, "P.T. Barnum, Joice Heth and Antebellum Spectacles of Race," American Quarterly 51 (1999): 78-107.


Culture II

Shane White, Chapter 7: "A Question of Style," in Somewhat More Independent (Text).

Supplementary Readings

Sterling Stuckey, excerpts, Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundation of Black America (1987).

Shane White, "The Death of James Johnson," American Quarterly 51 (1999): 753-795.


Culture III: Black Theater

Shane White, Stories of Freedom in Black New York (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), entire.


Gender and Sexuality

Supplementary Reading

Timothy J. Gilfoyle, "The Urban Geography of Commercial Sex: Prostitution in New York City, 1790-1860," Journal of Urban History 13 (August 1987): 371-393.

Leslie M. Harris, "From Abolitionist Amalgamators to "Rulers of the Five Points": The Discourse of Interracial Sex and Reform in Antebellum New York City," in Hodes ed., Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (1999): 191-212.

Graham Russell Hodges, "The Pastor and the prostitute: Sexual Power among African Americans and Germans in Colonial New York," in Hodes ed., Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York: New York University Press, 1999).


African Burial Ground: Historical Archeology

Supplementary Reading:

Ross W. Jamieson, "Material Culture and Social Death: African-American Burial Practices," Historical Archaeology 29 (1995): 39-58.

Cheryl J. La Roche and Michael L. Blakey, "Seizing Intellectual Power: The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground," Historical Archaeology 31 (1997): 84-106.

C.E. Orser, "The Archaeology of the African Diaspora," Annual Review of Anthropology 27 (1998): 63-82.

Deborah Gray White, "Mining the Forgotten: Manuscript Sources for Black Women's History," Journal of American History 74(1987): 237-242.



Leslie M. Harris, Chapter 9, "The Failures of the City" in In the Shadow of Slavery.

Additional Recommended Readings:

Burrows, Edwin and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Foote, Thelma. Black and White Manhattan: Race Relations and Collective Identity in Colonial Society, 1626-1783. forthcoming

Hodges, Graham Russell. Root & Branch: African Americans in New York & East Jersey 1613-1863. Chapel Hill & London: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Jackson, Kenneth, ed. Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press; New York: New York Historical Society, 1995
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Article Details
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Author:Welch, Rebeccah
Publication:Afro-Americans in New York Life and History
Article Type:Bibliography
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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