"To Protect the Precious Boon of Liberty: African Americans and Meanings of Post-War Citizenship in Boston, Massachusetts, 1865-1870"
Dr. Millington Bergeson-Lockwood
Adjunct Assistant Professor, George Mason University
May 17, 2012, at 6:00 PM
MacAlister Hall, room 2019/2020 (33rd & Chestnut Streets)
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Organizer: Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Murphy, Department of History & Politics
As the Civil War came to a close, African Americans throughout the nation worked to define what freedom would mean in a post-emancipation world. In this lecture, Millington Bergeson-Lockwood explores how African Americans in Boston, Massachusetts, defined meanings of post-war American freedom. Black Bostonians remained vigilant as they enacted a vision of citizenship grounded in the right of suffrage and the state enforcement of prohibitions against racial discrimination. Through local challenges in the courts and state legislature, they successfully pressed for laws prohibiting racial discrimination in places of public accommodation. Despite local victories, their vision of freedom remained bound up with the rights of African Americans in the former Confederacy. Massachusetts’ first black legislators criticized the limits of the Fourteenth Amendment and called for more forceful protection of African American civil rights nationally. Even after the successful passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, black Bostonians recognized that the preservation of their rights depended on community agitation. In their advocacy, they crafted a political vision that understood “the precious boon of liberty” as protected only by state action coupled with persistent community vigilance.
Dr. Millington Bergeson-Lockwood is an adjunct assistant professor in the History and Art History Department at George Mason University. He specializes in the history of African American politics, urban history, and race & the law. His current book project examines African American political activism in Boston, Massachusetts, from the end of the Civil War through the beginning of the twentieth century.
Sponsored by the Department of History & Politics, Africana Studies, and the College of Arts & Sciences
"Confederate Reckoning: Why the South Seceded
and What Happened When They Did?"
Dr. Stephanie McCurry
Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 6:00 PM
Main Building, room 301 (31st and Chestnut Streets)
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Organizer: Mary-Elizabeth Murphy, Department of History & Politics
A specialist in the 19th-century American south, Dr. Stephanie McCurry will discuss a new interpretation of the Confederate States of America, which she presented in her most recent book, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (Harvard, 2010). Her book has won numerous national awards, and we are pleased to have her on campus.
From the Harvard University Press: "When the grandiosity of Southerners’ national ambitions met the harsh realities of wartime crises, unintended consequences ensued. Although Southern statesmen and generals had built the most powerful slave regime in the Western world, they had excluded the majority of their own people—white women and slaves—and thereby sowed the seeds of their demise. Wartime scarcity of food, labor, and soldiers tested the Confederate vision at every point and created domestic crises to match those found on the battlefields. Women and slaves became critical political actors as they contested government enlistment and tax and welfare policies, and struggled for their freedom. The attempt to repress a majority of its own population backfired on the Confederate States of America as the disenfranchised demanded to be counted and considered in the great struggle over slavery, emancipation, democracy, and nationhood. That Confederate struggle played out in a highly charged international arena."
"Philadelphians and Philadelphia at War: People, Places and a Nation in Crisis"
Dr. J. Matthew Gallman
Professor of History, University of Florida
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Mitchell Auditorium, Bossone Research Enterprise Center
In the early dawn of April 12, 1861, the Confederate States of America attacked Fort Sumter, SC, launching four long years of the Civil War. Drexel is participating in larger city, state, and national efforts to mark the 150th anniversary of the war, starting with a public lecture the evening of April 12, 2011.
In this lecture, Professor J. Matthew Gallman will tell the story of Philadelphia and Philadelphians during this bloody conflict--as experienced by a fascinating assortment of local men and women who helped to shape that story before drifting from the pages of history. Come hear about how a diverse group of unheralded Philadelphians reveal untold stories of the Civil War.
Dr. Gallman is the author of Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War, the authoritative book on Philadelphia's experience in the war. Gallman has written widely on subjects related to the Civil War, abolition, Philadelphia, and Irish immigration.