Examining Racialized Space: Understanding Free Communities Of Color Through Property Records
Author(s): Jared P Muehlbauer
This is an abstract from the session entitled "An Archaeology Of Freedom: Exploring 19th-Century Black Communities And Households In New England." , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.
By the 19th century, slavery was abolished in New England and African Americans living in the region were legally free. Despite this, they occupied a tenuous position in American society, with political, economic, and social inequality a constant reality, and the continued existence of slavery elsewhere an ongoing threat. Across the region, people of African descent formed new communities alongside established white cities and towns, using their legal freedom to explore new economic opportunities and formally establish communal institutions. Through a systematic look at census records, maps, and property deeds, I explore how people of African descent used property ownership to build generational wealth, found communal institutions, and create a physical space outside of white control. Additionally, this paper will demonstrate using the free black community of New Guinea, Nantucket as a case study, the value of using government records to understand marginalized communities in the past.
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Examining Racialized Space: Understanding Free Communities Of Color Through Property Records. Jared P Muehlbauer. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456800)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology