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JCWE Historian Talk - Remaking the Republic: Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship
Dr. Christopher Bonner is associate professor at the University of Maryland. He specializes in African American history and the nineteenth-century United States. He will join us to discuss his first book, Remaking the Republic: Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship, which was published in March 2020 with the University of Pennsylvania Press. This book centers free black Americans in the legal transformations of the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Black people from across the antebellum free states used citizenship in their public demands for rights and protections, and their political work helped spur and shape the development of citizen status. African American protest helped to make citizenship a legal status that connected individuals to the federal government through a bundle of rights and obligations. The book links antebellum black politics to Reconstruction-era constitutional developments and considers the ways black people grappled with the limits of formal legal change.

Dr. Bonner is currently at work on a project considering how enslaved people navigated commercial networks as they sought to purchase freedom in the early nineteenth century.

Feb 11, 2021 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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