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A biannual publication offering insights into the use of digital historical collections

African American Studies

African American Studies

Resisting Repression: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Age of Global Surveillance

To commemorate the 50-year anniversary of W. E. B. Du Bois’s death in 2013, New York City artist Ann Messner created an installation at UMass Amherst titled “DuBois: The FBI Files.” Messner’s work addressed federal surveillance of the black radical scholar in the McCarthy era of ferocious anticommunism. She downloaded...

Womanhood, Religion, and Slavery: Dialogues from the Readex African American Newspapers Series

Nineteenth-century African American newspapers attracted black writers, subscription agents, printers, and readers eager to imbibe news and opinions from their own heterogeneous, diverse communities. They considered the impact of American slavery on global trade and commerce and global appropriations of African American culture and ideas. They ranged from commercial publications...

Womanhood, Religion, and Slavery: Dialogues from the Readex African American Newspapers Series

Nineteenth-century African American newspapers attracted black writers, subscription agents, printers, and readers eager to imbibe news and opinions from their own heterogeneous, diverse communities. They considered the impact of American slavery on global trade and commerce and global appropriations of African American culture and ideas. They ranged from commercial publications...

Black Freethought from Slavery to Civil Rights: Atheism and Agnosticism in African American Cultural and Intellectual Life

In his second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass asserted that throughout his life his religious views “pass[ed] over the whole scale and circle of belief and unbelief, from faith in the overruling Providence of God, to the blackest atheism.”[1] The point at which he was most skeptical...

Speaking Out in Thunder Tones: Black Chosenness and “Our Government” in the Earliest African American Newspapers

In the fall of 1836, a fastidiously well-dressed New Yorker was elected President of the United States. One year later, the country was in the midst of a devastating economic depression, the forced removal of Native Americans from the southeastern states was in full swing, and the regime of slavery...

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