Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808-1915

By Mitch Kachun | Go to book overview
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NOTES

Introduction
1
James McPherson, “A House Divided: Historians Confront Disney's America, OAH Newsletter 22, no. 3 (August 1994): 1.
2
For a thoughtful discussion of historical memory and lynching in one southern county, see Bruce E. Baker, “Under the Rope: Lynching and Memory in Laurens County, South Carolina, in Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity, ed. W. Fitzhugh Brundage (Chapel Hill, 2000), 319–45.
3
For a discussion of modern Americans' ideas about their historical knowledge, see Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen, The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life (New York, 1998).
4
I use the generic terms “freedom festival” or “Freedom Day” to refer to public commemorations of emancipation in individual states, the British West Indies, and the United States, as well as related emancipatory events commemorating the abolition of the slave trade, ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and other similar landmarks of African American freedom. The phrase “festivals of freedom, which I chose for the title of this book, was coined by the black activist and historian William C. Nell during the 1850s. I refer to 1915, rather than 1913, as the fiftieth anniversary year since it was the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, not Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, that fully abolished U. S. slavery. Blacks generally focused their attention on Lincoln's proclamation but

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