AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
The Free Negro in North Carolina
The discussion from so many informative posters forced me to retreat on my vow not to discuss books on the FPOC. (wink) This morning I started to re-read John Hope Franklin's monumental work , "The Free Nego in North Carolina 1790-1860." If you haven't read it, please do. He writes on many of the issues that we have touched on already, including Alane's posting of the website that presents a history of slave petitions.
Since my family is from the Lower South, I assumed (incorrectly) that the majority of FPOC were from that region. John Hope Franklin's research points to the Upper South and North Carolina's free black population and explains their status and the laws that were enacted to restrict their freedom. North Carolina is an intriguing place to start research on FPOC. It is far removed from the worn-out creole Spanish, Creole stereotypes but culturally and geographically closer to our long held views of a southern slave state.
When I read Hope's book, I learned of the now legendary furniture maker and craftsman, Thomas Day. A contemporary of Thomas Jefferson, Day did the interior finishing at the Library of the University of Virginia. There was an exhibition of his work at Hampton University. Perhaps you can find a children's book about his life. "My Name is Thomas Day", would make a wonderful gift for Christmas.
K Wyer Lane
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