By Mitch Kachun
Excluded from July Fourth and other American nationalist rituals for most of this period, black activists used these festivals of freedom to encourage community building and race uplift. Kachun demonstrates that, even as these annual rituals helped define African Americans as a people by fostering a sense of shared history, heritage, and identity, they were also sites of ambiguity and conflict. Freedom celebrations served as occasions for debate over black representations in the public sphere, struggles for group leadership, and contests over collective memory and its meaning.
Based on extensive research in African American newspapers and oration texts, this book retraces a vital if often overlooked tradition in African American political culture and addresses important issues about black participation in the public sphere. By illuminating the origins of black Americans' public commemorations, it also helps explain why there have been increasing calls in recent years to make the "Juneteenth" observance of emancipationan American -- not just an African American -- day of commemoration.
- Amherst, MA
- Slaves--Emancipation--United States--Anniversaries, Etc
- African Americans--Anniversaries, Etc
- African Americans--Politics And Government--19th Century
- African Americans--Politics And Government--20th Century
- Political Culture--United States--History--19th Century
- Political Culture--United States--History--20th Century
- Festivals--United States--History--19th Century
- Festivals--United States--History--20th Century
- Memory--Social Aspects--United States--History
- Memory--Political Aspects--United States--History