Navigating Liberty: Black Refugees and Antislavery Reformers in the Civil War South

$45.00

By John Cimprich

In an exhaustive analysis of the relationship between the formerly enslaved and northern reformers, John Cimprich shows how the unusual circumstances of emancipation in wartime presented new opportunities and spawned social movements for change yet produced intractable challenges and limited results.

Publisher: LSU Press – November 2022
Hardcover: 246 Pages

Description

Hardcover: 246 pages
Publisher: LSU Press – November 2022

When thousands of African Americans freed themselves from slavery during the American Civil War and launched the larger process of emancipation, hundreds of northern antislavery reformers traveled to the federally occupied South to assist them. The two groups brought views and practices from their backgrounds that both helped and hampered the transition out of slavery. While enslaved, many Blacks assumed a certain guarded demeanor when dealing with whites. In freedom, they resented northerners’ paternalistic attitudes and preconceptions about race, leading some to oppose aid programs―included those related to education, vocational training, and religious and social activities―initiated by whites. Some interactions resulted in constructive cooperation and adjustments to curriculum, but the frequent disputes more often compelled Blacks to seek additional autonomy.