'Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Dec 11, 2009 - Social Science - 224 pages
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Conventional wisdom tells us that marriage was illegal for African Americans during the antebellum era, and that if people married at all, their vows were tenuous ones: "until death or distance do us part." It is an impression that imbues beliefs about black families to this day. But it's a perception primarily based on documents produced by abolitionists, the state, or other partisans. It doesn't tell the whole story. Drawing on a trove of less well-known sources including family histories, folk stories, memoirs, sermons, and especially the fascinating writings from the Afro-Protestant Press,'Til Death or Distance Do Us Part offers a radically different perspective on antebellum love and family life. Frances Smith Foster applies the knowledge she's developed over a lifetime of reading and thinking. Advocating both the potency of skepticism and the importance of story-telling, her book shows the way toward a more genuine, more affirmative understanding of African American romance, both then and now.

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Adam and Eve Antoney and Isabella
Terms of Endearment
Practical Thoughts Divine Mandates and the AfroProtestant Press
Rights and Rituals
Myths Memory and SelfRealization
Getting Stories Straight Keeping Them Real
Alchemy of Personal Politics
Me Mende and Sankofa An Epilogue

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About the author (2009)

Frances Smith Foster is Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women's Studies and Emory University's 2006 Scholar/Teacher of the Year. She has been a fellow for Fulbright, the Harvard Divinity School, the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard, the International Theological Center, the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, and the Emory Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Religion. She has authored or edited fourteen books and dozens of articles.

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