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News, views and events detailing the Black presence in the Americas.

This website is designed to keep you up to date on Life in the Black Americas.  

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Monday, February 4, 2013

A taste of freedom:  Amid the Civil War, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation triggered a mass movement of Southern Blacks who abandoned their plantations and embraced freedom

"On New Year's Day 1863, Quinn Chapel, a Black church in Chicago, hosted a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation," Ron Grossman writes in the Chicago Tribune.

"Abraham Lincoln's executive order freeing the Confederacy's slaves had just gone into effect, triggering a mass movement of Southern blacks rejecting fear and embracing hope....

"Strange as it now seems, Southerners were stunned when Blacks voted for freedom with their feet in the third year of the Civil War. One of the intellectual underpinnings of slavery was a fantasy that happy-go-lucky African-Americans were content to toil for others' benefit. Desperate for an explanation of what had gone wrong, some slave owners blamed religion, as the Tribune noted in November 1863, quoting a Virginia newspaper. 'Upon the last appearance of the Yankees at Fredericksburg the only negroes who went off with them when they retired were those who belonged to, or were frequenters of, the African church there,' the Richmond Whig reported. 'This is bad for the Christian religion.'

"As things worked out, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment didn't remove the stain of racism. Starting in 1876, Southern Blacks were subjugated by Jim Crow laws that mandated segregation, necessitating a second struggle for freedom during the Civil Rights Movement nearly a century later.

"But by the last year of the Civil War, the African-American community of Charleston could write slavery's death certificate with a massive parade.

" 'Next in order came the Twenty-first regiment United States Colored Troops, Lieut.-Col. Bennett commanding, preceded by a band,' a Tribune correspondent wrote. 'A company of school boys, the leading boy carrying a banner with the device, 'We know no masters but ourselves,' followed the military."

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The Sound of My Footsteps:

Narratives of Migratory Jamaican immigrants


Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants

on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York

and England

 Click here to view and purchase the book.


The Afro-Latin@ Reader focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans. At the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.


African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events

 by Karen Juanita Carrillo

The proof of any group's importance to history is in the detail, a fact made plain by this informative book's day-by-day documentation of the impact of African Americans on life in the United States.  One of the easiest ways to grasp any aspect of history is to look at it as a continuum. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events provides just such an opportunity.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.


The View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future 

by Karen Juanita Carrillo

 The View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future is an introduction to the lives of Blacks in Colombia. Afro-Colombians live in a resource-rich yet remote region of Colombia. They only recently won recognition as one of that nation's distinct ethnic groups. But Colombia's on-going civil war has led many Afro-Colombians to reach even farther than their nation's borders for recognition: many have made their way to the United States as refugees and as political activists working for peace in their homeland. The View from Chocó introduces the lives and struggles of a too-long neglected community of Colombian Blacks. 

 Click here to view and purchase the book.




To view and purchase Kindle books, please click the following links:

The View from Chocó: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009LSSNLU



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