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Living Democracy in Capitalism’s Shadow: Creative Labor, Black Abolitionists, and the Struggle to End Slavery
October 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
𝘍𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥; 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘡𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘸𝘦𝘣𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘳 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬.
In the two decades before the Civil War, a new type of capitalism developed in the northern United States that stressed mass education, widespread innovation, and new markets for art and design. For Black abolitionists, the changing northern economy presented new opportunities to highlight the evils of slavery. While continuing to attack slavery’s physical cruelty, Black abolitionists in the 1840s and 1850s increasingly highlighted the “mental darkness” of slavery, focusing on the systematic denial of literacy, learning, and creativity. Through their own creative labor, Black abolitionists made a compelling case for racial equality. The fate of Black creative labor after the Civil War, though, demonstrated the limits of using creativity as a way of obtaining citizenship, and raises important questions about how we in the 21st century “live democracy” in a society that valorizes creativity amidst growing inequality and systemic racism. 𝘈𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘘&𝘈 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸.
John Majewski is the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Professor in the Department of History. His areas of specialization include American economic, social, and legal history; Southern history; and the U.S. Civil War. He is the author of 𝘈 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨: 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘋𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘗𝘦𝘯𝘯𝘴𝘺𝘭𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘝𝘪𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘉𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘭 𝘞𝘢𝘳 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 𝘔𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘚𝘭𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘺: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘐𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (UNC Press, 2009), and numerous articles, reviews, and book chapters.
𝘚𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘐𝘏𝘊’𝘴 Living Democracy 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴.
REGISTER NOW. ASL and Spanish interpretation will be provided. To view ASL interpretation, please attend the webinar on a desktop computer.