Saturday, July 6, 2013

'The Journal of African American History' Special Issue: 'Women, Slavery, and the Atlantic World' Available from ASALH

The Journal of African American History
Volume 98, Issue No. 1

 JAAH Special Issue, Winter 2013
 "Women, Slavery, and the Atlantic World" 

The most recent issue of The Journal of African American History (JAAH) is a Special Issue devoted to "Women, Slavery, and the Atlantic World." Edited by Brenda Stevenson, Professor of History at UCLA, the Special Issue presents new and original analyses and interpretations of the often tragic experiences of enslaved African and African American women in various parts of the Atlantic World from late 17th to the mid-19th centuries. Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, documents the lives and leadership roles of "La Virreina Juana" in Cartagena, New Granada (now Colombia) in the 1690s and Nansi Wiggins in Spanish Florida before the U.S. takeover in 1821. Both women were "founding mothers" who left legacies of discipline, militancy, and resistance for the free black communities they helped to create.

Jessica Millward, Assistant Professor of History, UC Irvine, traces the legacies of Charity Folks who gained her freedom in 1797 only after she had worked to obtain the manumission of her children. While Millward's "Charity Folks, Lost Royalty, and the Bishop Family of Maryland and New York" offers of micro-history of women and slavery in Annapolis, Maryland, in the colonial and early national eras, the significant contributions of Charity Folks' descendants to African American and American life and history demonstrate that she was a "founding mother" of an African American royal family

Margaret Washington, Professor of History at Cornell University and author of the award winning Sojourner Truth's America (2009), reexamines in detail Truth's religious adventures and mishaps in New York City in the late 1820s when she was still "Isabella Van Wagenen." In this period Isabella lived in interracial communes with religious perfectionists who believed in sexual freedom and women's participation in social reform. When Isabella Van Wagenen was put on trial accused of poisoning one of the perfectionist ministers, the female members of her "Holy Band" publicly supported their sister who had been slandered and falsely charged.

Andrew Apter, Professor of History and Anthropology at UCLA, uncovers elements of Yoruba and Yoruba-descended ideas and practices of womanhood in West Africa, North and South America, and in the Caribbean. "Blood of Mothers: Women, Money, and Markets in Yoruba-Atlantic Perspective" explores African and African American women's social and economic activities that reflect this Yoruba-based cultural foundation.

While scholars of U. S. slavery have noted the existence of concubine relationships between wealthy white slaveholders and enslaved African American women, Brenda Stevenson provides the first detailed and systematic analysis of these practices. "What's Love Got to Do With It? Concubinage and Enslaved Black Women and Girls in the Antebellum South" offers a wide ranging examination of the experiences of enslaved concubines and documents how these women were viewed by non-slaveholding white men, white women, and enslaved and free African Americans.

Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth Century America (2010) by Molly Rogers tells the disturbing story behind the making of seven recently discovered daguerreotypes of people of African descent, originally produced in 1850 at the request of Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz to support his convenient theory of "polygenesis." In the essay review "Racial Science and Early American Photography," historian Elaine Allen Lechtrech reviews Rogers's findings and brings us up to date on the efforts of Swiss social activists to have Agassiz's name removed from a prominent mountain range in Switzerland.

"Women, Slavery, and the Atlantic World" is available in hard copy from ASALH through Publications Director Karen May, at, 202-238-5910 or follow the link to purchase. The digital version will soon be available through "JSTOR Current Journals," please check and make sure your university subscribes to the program.

For more information go to JAAH website: or contact V. P. Franklin, JAAH Editor,

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