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Carter G. Woodson Institute Series

This series is published in association with the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American Studies at the University of Virginia.

Series Editor: Deborah E. McDowell


We Face the Dawn

Margaret Edds

The decisive victories in the fight for racial equality in America were not easily won, much less inevitable; they were achieved through carefully conceived strategy and the work of tireless individuals dedicated to this most urgent struggle. In We Face the Dawn, Margaret Edds tells the gripping... More


Keep On Keeping On

Brian J. Daugherity

Virginia was a battleground state in the struggle to implement Brown v. Board of Education, with one of the South’s largest and strongest NAACP units fighting against a program of noncompliance crafted by the state’s political leaders. Keep On Keeping On offers a detailed examination of how African... More


A House Divided

Patience Essah

Delaware stood outside the primary streams of New World emancipation. Despite slavery's virtual demise in that state during the antebellum years and Delaware's staunch Unionism during the Civil War itself, the state failed to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery, until 1901.... More


Schooling Jim Crow

Jay Winston Driskell Jr.

In 1919 the NAACP organized a voting bloc powerful enough to compel the city of Atlanta to budget $1.5 million for the construction of schools for black students. This victory would have been remarkable in any era, but in the context of the Jim Crow South it was revolutionary. Schooling Jim Crow... More


The Punitive Turn

Edited by Deborah E. McDowell, Claudrena N. Harold, and Juan Battle

The Punitive Turn explores the historical, political, economic, and sociocultural roots of mass incarceration, as well as its collateral costs and consequences. Giving significant attention to the exacting toll that incarceration takes on inmates, their families, their communities, and society at... More


Whispers of Rebellion

Michael L. Nicholls

An ambitious but abortive plan to revolt that ended in the conviction and hanging of over two dozen men, Gabriel’s Conspiracy of 1800 sought nothing less than to capture the capital city of Richmond and end slavery in Virginia. Whispers of Rebellion draws on recent scholarship and extensive... More


Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery

Henry Goings. Edited by Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor

Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery tells of an extraordinary life in and out of slavery in the United States and Canada. Born Elijah Turner in the Virginia Tidewater, circa 1810, the author eventually procured freedom papers from a man he resembled and took the man’s name, Henry Goings.... More


Gabriel's Conspiracy

Edited by Philip J. Schwarz

The plans for a large slave rebellion in the Richmond area in 1800, orchestrated by a literate enslaved blacksmith named Gabriel, leaked out before they could be executed, and he and twenty-five other enslaved people were hanged. In reaction to the plot, the Virginia and other legislatures passed... More


Freedom Has a Face

Kirt von Daacke

In his examination of a wide array of court papers from Albemarle County, a rural Virginia slaveholding community, Kirt von Daacke argues against the commonly held belief that southern whites saw free blacks only as a menace. Von Daacke reveals instead a more easygoing interracial social order in... More


Word, Like Fire

Valerie C. Cooper

Maria Stewart is believed by many to have been the first American woman of any race to give public political speeches. In Word, Like Fire, Valerie C. Cooper argues that the religious, political, and social threads of Maria Stewart's thought are tightly interwoven, such that focusing narrowly on any... More


Strategies for Survival

William Dusinberre

Strategies for Survival conveys the experience of bondage through the words of former slaves themselves. The interviews—conducted in Virginia in 1937 by WPA interviewers—are considered among the most valuable of the WPA interviews because in Virginia the interviewers were almost all African... More


Criminal Injustice

Glenn McNair

Criminal Injustice: Slaves and Free Blacks in Georgia’s Criminal Justice System is the most comprehensive study of the criminal justice system of a slave state to date. McNair traces the evolution of Georgia’s legal culture by examining its use of slave codes and slave patrols, as well as... More


Segregation's Science

Gregory Michael Dorr

Blending social, intellectual, legal, medical, gender, and cultural history, Segregation's Science: Eugenics and Society in Virginia examines how eugenic theory and practice bolstered Virginia's various cultures of segregation--rich from poor, sick from well, able from disabled, male from female,... More


The Segregated Scholars

Francille Rusan Wilson

In Segregated Scholars Francille Rusan Wilson explores the lives and work of fifteen black labor historians and social scientists as seen through the prisms of gender, class, and time. This collective biography offers complex and vital portraits of these seminal figures, many of whom knew and... More


Bitter Fruits of Bondage

Armstead L. Robinson. Introduction by Joseph P. Reidy

Bitter Fruits of Bondage is the late Armstead L. Robinson’s magnum opus, a controversial history that explodes orthodoxies on both sides of the historical debate over why the South lost the Civil War. Recent studies, while conceding the importance of social factors in the unraveling of the... More


Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction

Midori Takagi

RICHMOND WAS NOT only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy; it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population.... More


Migrants against Slavery

Philip J. Schwarz

A significant number of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Virginians migrated north and west with the intent of extricating themselves from a slave society. All sought some kind of freedom: whites who left the Old Dominion to escape from slavery refused to live any longer as slave owners or as... More


Rituals of Race

Alessandra Lorini

In this sophisticated study of the struggle for African American human rights in America, Alessandra Lorini examines public events in New York City from the end of the Civil War through World War I, demonstrating how ritualized elements of black processions, parades, riots, and festivals made... More


Enterprising Southerners

Robert C. Kenzer

Surprisingly, there existed a small population of southern blacks who experienced economic gains in the fifty years following the Civil War. This book examines the characteristics of North Carolina’s African-American population in order to explain the social and political factors that shaped... More


Virginia Landmarks of Black History

Calder Loth, ed.

The 64 sites described in this book are a testament to the contribution that African-Americans have made to Virginia history over the last four centuries. The buildings they constructed, the churches in which they worshiped and the schools in they studies preserve the story of these contributions.


Freedom Summer

Sally Belfrage

Freedom Summer is a richly detailed account of a young white woman who participated in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's summer project in Mississippi in 1964. The text covers one intense summer from the basic training session in June to the Democratic Convention in August.