Exploring Processes of Racialization in Nineteenth Century Nantucket, Massachusetts

Author(s): Nedra K. Lee

Year: 2018

Summary

As Nantucket, Massachusetts became the center of a global whaling industry in the nineteenth century, the island’s Native American and Black populations formed the mixed-race community of New Guinea.  The Nantucket African Meeting House played a critical role in New Guinea’s adoption of a shared African identity as it became the center of the community’s social and political activities.  Using archaeological materials from the African Meeting House and the neighboring Seneca Boston-Florence Higginbotham House—a historic residence continuously occupied by two Black families for roughly 200 years--this paper examines the relationship between households and institutions in processes of racialization. I argue that the African Meeting House played a vital role in the New Guinea community’s adoption of a shared African identity because it was an aggregate of cultural practices that also took place at the household level and helped residents both overcome racism and advance economically. 

Cite this Record

Exploring Processes of Racialization in Nineteenth Century Nantucket, Massachusetts. Nedra K. Lee. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441758)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Nineteenth Century

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): 817