A Curse upon the Nation: Race, Freedom, and Extermination in by Kay Wright Lewis

Violence In Society

By Kay Wright Lewis

From the inception of slavery as a pillar of the Atlantic international economic system, either Europeans and Africans feared their mass extermination via the opposite in a race battle. within the usa, says Kay Wright Lewis, this ingrained dread nourished a preoccupation with slave rebellions and could later aid gasoline the Civil struggle, thwart the goals of Reconstruction, justify Jim Crow, or even tell civil rights circulate technique. And but, says Lewis, the historiography of slavery is all yet silent on extermination as a class of research. furthermore, little of the present sparse scholarship interrogates the black point of view on extermination. A Curse upon the Nation addresses either one of those issues.

To clarify how this trust in an forthcoming race battle formed eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American politics, tradition, and trade, Lewis examines a variety of texts together with letters, newspapers, pamphlets, commute debts, slave narratives, govt records, and abolitionist tracts. She foregrounds her readings within the lengthy list of exterminatory struggle in Europe and its colonies, putting lopsided reprisals opposed to African slave revolts—or even rumors of revolts—in a continuum with prior brutal incursions opposed to the Irish, Scots, local americans, and different teams out of fashion with the empire. Lewis additionally indicates how extermination turned entwined with rules approximately race and freedom from early within the strategy of enslavement, making survival a big kind of resistance for African peoples in America.

For African american citizens, enslaved and loose, the opportunity of one-sided violence was once constantly current and deeply anxious. This groundbreaking research reevaluates how extermination formed black knowing of the Atlantic slave alternate and the political, social, and fiscal worlds within which it thrived.

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