"Africa" in Connecticut

Author(s): Sarah Croucher

Year: 2015


In this paper I discuss how archaeological interpretations of nineteenth century free black communities can be strengthened when Africa as a discursive concept is included alongside our analyses of race. In the southern U.S. historical archaeologists have long been attuned to the tangible material presence of enslaved Africans and their descendants. I address the question of "Africa" in relation to nineteenth century free communities of color in Connecticut, arguing that the discursive nature of Africa as a source of identity and practice mattered just as much in the north as it did on plantations. Individuals and communities recognized Africa in multiple ways: The Amistad trial brought about an active discourse between Africans and African Americans in the early 1840s, individuals of African descent noted Africa as the land of their ancestors, while simultaneously formulating plans to send missionaries to "civilize" Africans and fighting against the force of the colonization movement.

Cite this Record

"Africa" in Connecticut. Sarah Croucher. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433905)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 568