African American Women During the Civil War

Taylor & Francis

African American Women During the Civil War Overview

This study uses an abundance of primary sources to restore African American female participants in the Civil War to history by documenting their presence, contributions and experience. Free and enslaved African American women took part in this process in a variety of ways, including black female charity and benevolence. These women were spies, soldiers, scouts, nurses, cooks, seamstresses, laundresses, recruiters, relief workers, organizers, teachers, activists and survivors. They carried the honor of the race on their shoulders, insisting on their right to be treated as "ladies" and knowing that their conduct was a direct reflection on the African American community as a whole. For too long, black women have been rendered invisible in traditional Civil War history and marginal in African American chronicles. This book addresses this lack by reclaiming and resurrecting the role of African American females, individually and collectively, during the Civil War. It brings their contributions, in the words of a Civil War participant, Susie King Taylor, "in history before the people."

African American Women During the Civil War Table Of Content

Ch. 1 In History Before the People: Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Full of the Spirit of Freedom: Freedwomen and the System 9
Ch. 3 Fearing Shell Nor Shot: Soldiers, Spies, Recruiters & Other Heroes 37
Ch. 4 Supporting Themselves: Nurses, Laundresses, Cooks & Entrepreneurs 51
Ch. 5 Working for Our Own Elevation: Refugee Relief Activities 65
Ch. 6 Their Cause is Our Cause: Succoring African American Soldiers 93
Ch. 7 Ties of Consanguinity and Love: Teaching Freedpeople 113
Ch. 8 Contending Against Outrage and Oppression: Civil Rights Activism 149
Ch. 9 Don't Fret for Me: Resisting By Surviving 159
Ch. 10 Eloquent Appeals: the Voice and Pen as Weapons 195
Ch. 11 The Honor of the Whole African Race on Her Shoulders: Conclusion 211
Bibliography 229
Index 241

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