Traces the personalities and the policies of two generations of leaders in one of the largest and influential free black communities in antebellum America. Detailing their commitment to antislavery, this title examines the range of other causes to which they devoted themselves, from moral reform and civil rights to Caribbean emigration.
Julie Winch is Assistant Professor of Black Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Acknowledgments Introduction: "The Elite of Our People" 1. The Emergence of the Elite, 1787-1822 2. The Elite and African Resettlement 3. Alternatives to Africa: Emigration to the West Indies and Canada 4. The Elite and Slavery 5. The Philadelphia Leadership and the National Convention Movement, 1830-1835 6. The American Moral Reform Society and Its Opponents: The Second Phase of Conventionism 7. Political Change and Racial Violence, 1830-1848 8. The Elite in 1848 Epilogue: The New Activists Notes Bibliography Index
"Clearly written and covering the activities of a crisis-oriented, reform-minded minority group during a critical period of transition in the nation's history." --Benjamin Quarles "Winch's rich portrait of Philadelphia's black leaders and their role in shaping the lives of Northern blacks deserves a close reading." --Library Journal "In an impressive work on the growth of the black elite of Philadelphia before 1848, Julie Winch, through careful documentation and cogent analysis, helps to put [Du Bois' Philadelphia Negro]...into perspective... Winch evokes dramatically the emergence of an important Afro-American elite that was sui generis, with goals and strategies peculiarly its own." --Journal of American Studies "Winch has taken the first steps in rethinking how a larger understanding of black life in the free states not only adds to our understanding of Northern life but changes it as well." --Journal of American Ethnic History "This is a fine example of black community history." --American Historical Review "Authoritative and well-researched, and at the same time highly readable--a rare and valuable combination." --The Philadelphia Inquirer "A fresh example of a much more revealing approach to Afro-American history... Winch provides a much-needed perspective on the complexities, commitments, and conflicting loyalties within this tiny leadership group... [She] has given us a model for exploring multidimensional and multidirectional dynamics within a minority community." --Journal of the Early Republic "The book contributes to the understanding of black leadership and the labyrinth of ideologies and schisms characterizing the antebellum period... The book is an informative exploration of ideologies, tactics, and issues that have relevance even in the twentieth century." --Journal of American History
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