Ploughshares Into Swords: Race, Rebellion, and Identity in Gabriel's Virginia, 1730-1810

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 13, 1997 - History - 292 pages
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During the summer of 1800, slaves in and around Richmond conspired to overthrow their masters and abolish slavery. This book uses Gabriel's Conspiracy, and the evidence produced during the repression of the revolt, to expose the processes through which Virginians of African descent built an oppositional culture. Sidbury portrays the rich cultures of eighteenth-century black Virginians, and the multiple, and sometimes conflicting, senses of identity that emerged among enslaved and free people living in and around the rapidly growing state capital. The book also examines the conspirators' vision of themselves as God's chosen people, and the complicated African and European roots of their culture. In so doing, it offers an alternative interpretation of the meaning of the Virginia that was home to so many of the Founding Fathers. This narrative focuses on the history and perspectives of black and enslaved people, in order to develop 'Gabriel's Virginia' as a counterpoint to more common discussions of 'Jeffersonian Virginia'.
 

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Contents

From Blacks in Virginia to Black Virginians
11
The emergence of racial consciousness in eighteenthcentury Virginia
14
Cultural process Creolization appropriation and collective identity in Gabriels Virginia
51
Forging an oppositional culture Gabriels Conspiracy and the process of cultural appropriation
55
Individualism community and identity in Gabriels Conspiracy
95
Making sense of Gabriels Conspiracy Immediate responses to the conspiracy
118
Social practice Urbanization commercialization and identity in the daily life of Gabriels Richmond
149
The growth of early Richmond
151
Labor race and identity in early Richmond
184
Race and constructions of gender in early Richmond
220
Gabriel and Richmond in historical and fictional time
255
Gabriels Conspiracy in memory and fiction
256
Richmond households in 1784 and 1810
277
Index
281
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Page 2 - Lawrence W. Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness: AfroAmerican Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977); Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Pantheon, 1972); Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution...

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