Finding a Home: Colonization, Performative Citizenship, and the Civil War in the Lives of Black Women Abolitionists, 1830-1865

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Citation

McNeil, Adam, “Finding a Home: Colonization, Performative Citizenship, and the Civil War in the Lives of Black Women Abolitionists, 1830-1865,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed April 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/130.

Title

Finding a Home: Colonization, Performative Citizenship, and the Civil War in the Lives of Black Women Abolitionists, 1830-1865

Creator

McNeil, Adam

Date

2017

Description

This paper examines the intellectual history of six black abolitionist women and how, because of the centrality of black bodies to the development of the American capitalist system, they theorized that the United States was their “home.” They believed that if one group should profit from the prosperity of the nation, the black lives whose bodies produced the wealth should. I center the women’s production of lectures, editorials by and about them, and actions so that the reader sees them as equal partners in the 19th century black freedom struggle; not those who needed masculine saving. Doubly, I also treat them as important intellectual producers, because, especially in light of women who do not know how to read and write like Harriet Tubman, historians do not typically critique them as specimens of intellectual production. Ultimately, I aim to prove that the women’s language around black bodily commodification’s centrality to American capitalistic flow fueled their rationale as to why they chose to struggle in America. They saw the United States as their best chance to build a better life, but by first aiding in the fight to found the second American Republic; one minus the slave power, because they loved America, even though America as a whole did not reciprocate that love.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (109 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses

Collection