A Faithful Account of the Race: African American Historical Writing in Nineteenth-Century America

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Oct 15, 2009 - Social Science - 352 pages
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The civil rights and black power movements expanded popular awareness of the history and culture of African Americans. But, as Stephen Hall observes, African American authors, intellectuals, ministers, and abolitionists had been writing the history of the black experience since the 1800s. With this book, Hall recaptures and reconstructs a rich but largely overlooked tradition of historical writing by African Americans.

Hall charts the origins, meanings, methods, evolution, and maturation of African American historical writing from the period of the Early Republic to the twentieth-century professionalization of the larger field of historical study. He demonstrates how these works borrowed from and engaged with ideological and intellectual constructs from mainstream intellectual movements including the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism. Hall also explores the creation of discursive spaces that simultaneously reinforced and offered counternarratives to more mainstream historical discourse. He sheds fresh light on the influence of the African diaspora on the development of historical study. In so doing, he provides a holistic portrait of African American history informed by developments within and outside the African American community.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
African American Intellectuals and Historical Writing in the Early Republic 18171837
17
Creating an African American Historical Discourse 18371850
49
African American History between Compromise and Jubilee 18501863
86
Writing African American History at the Dawn of Freedom 18631882
123
African American History in PostReconstruction America 18831915
151
The Black Academy and the Professionalization of History
188
Conclusion
227
Notes
235
Bibliography
291
Index
327
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About the author (2009)

Stephen G. Hall is assistant professor of history at Alcorn State University.

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