The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century

Univ. of North Carolina. Mar. 2021. 400p. ed. by ed. by P. Gabrielle Foreman & others. ISBN 9781469654263. pap. $29.95. HIST
From the 1830s through the 1890s, Black leaders in the United States convened in regional and national meetings. At the start, they opposed slavery and colonization, but their agenda expanded to local and universal human and civil rights goals. Records of their proceedings have offered a treasure trove of the thinking and organizing behind what became known as the Colored Conventions Movement. Founding director of the Colored Conventions Project (CCP) Foreman (English, Penn State Univ.), and cofounders Casey (African American Studies, Penn State Univ.) and Patterson (English, UMass Amherst) have advanced reclamation of the records with a dynamic database at Penn State’s Center for Black Digital Research. The essays in this volume are refined papers first presented at a 2015 symposium on the seven decades of the Conventions. Through these essays, the editors masterfully portray the CCP’s aim to realize the linkages of Black intellectual work and social activism that the conventions represented, individually and sequentially, in the 19th century.
VERDICT A must for all students, researchers, and general readers with an interest in Black lives, this essential overview of the CCP’s legacy offers fresh understanding of the history of organized Black activism and commitment to community efforts for equal rights. Highest recommendation.
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