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Communities in Conflict: Racialized Violence During Gradual Emancipation on Long Island

Author(s): Meg Gorsline

Year: 2016

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From New Amsterdam to Seneca Village, Diana diZerega Wall has examined the often-conflicting interactions of communities living in close relation.  In the early nineteenth century, the nearly 30-year process of Gradual Emancipation slowly dismantled the system of slavery in New York State, but it also created the conditions for the perpetuation of inequality among closely intertwined peoples: the black and white inhabitants of eastern Long Island. Inspired by Wall’s ability to uncover the multiple ways socially disadvantaged people negotiated power imbalances and her subtle appeal for us to consider present disparities in light of historically rooted ones, this paper draws on a free black site and a slaveholding white household site to ask how systemic racialized violence was used by whites to erode black advances and to maintain white supremacy – and how black communities and households found the means of self-determination in spite of this violence.

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Communities in Conflict: Racialized Violence During Gradual Emancipation on Long Island. Meg Gorsline. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434547)


Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 852

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America