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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

FROC: Inside the African-American Community

Free People of Color: Inside the African American Community, James Oliver Horton, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London, 1993

This book is actually a series of essays- with a focus on FPOC in the north, an area that is often overlooked with so much empahasis always placed on the plight of our people in the south.

Horton looks at free Blacks and the underground railroad, Blacks in Antebellum Boston, and also examines gender, color and social identity.

His comparison of the status of the mulatto in three northern communites; Buffalo, Boston and Cincinatti, sheds some new light on the old issue of the relationship between color and social class.

I particularly enjoyed his chapter "Freedom's yoke; Gender conventions among Free Blacks", because he takes a hard look at the pressures on the relationships between black men and woman - and the gender conventions women had to adhere to.

I'd vote this a "must read" for anyone researching FPOC.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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