Exploration of African American contributions to the state of Florida during the era of Reconstruction
Despite their shortcomings, “radical” politicians, including African Americans, made worthy contributions to the state of Florida during the era of Reconstruction. Joe Richardson disputes many of the misconceptions about the state’s debt and corruption by exploring how some African American politicians were quite capable and learned their duties quickly. Even more remarkable was the rapidity with which the unlettered ex-slaves absorbed education and adjusted to their status as free men. African Americans in the Reconstruction of Florida delves into the problems encountered by the freed men and traces their successes and failures during the first decade after emancipation.
In the decades before the Civil War, the small number of slaves who managed to escape bondage almost always made their way northward along the secret routes and safe havens known as the Underground Railroad. Offering a new perspective on this standard narrative, Matthew Clavin recovers the story of fugitive slaves who sought freedom by—paradoxically—sojourning deeper into the American South toward an unlikely destination: the small seaport of Pensacola, Florida.Geographically and culturally, across decades of rule by a succession of powers—Spain, Great Britain, and the United States—Pensacola occupied an isolated position on the margins of antebellum Southern society. Yet as neighboring Gulf Coast seaports like New Orleans experienced rapid population growth and economic development based on racial slavery, Pensacola became known for something else: as an enclave of diverse, free peoples of European, African, and Native American descent. Farmers, laborers, mechanics, soldiers, and sailors learned to cooperate across racial lines and possessed no vested interest in maintaining slavery or white supremacy. Clavin examines how Pensacola’s reputation as a gateway to freedom grew in the minds of slaves and slaveowners, and how it became a beacon for fugitives who found northern routes to liberation inaccessible.The interracial resistance to slavery that thrived in Pensacola in the years before the Civil War, Clavin contends, would play a role in demolishing the foundations of Southern slavery when that fateful conflict arrived.
Karen L. Graves details how teachers were targeted, interrogated, and stripped of their professional credentials, and she examines the extent to which these teachers resisted the invasion of their personal lives. She contrasts the experience of three groups--civil rights activists, gay and lesbian teachers, and University of South Florida personnel--called before the committee and looks at the range of response and resistance to the investigations. Based on archival research conducted on a recently opened series of Investigation Committee records in the State Archives of Florida, this work highlights the importance of sexuality in American and education history and argues that Florida's attempt to govern sexuality in schools implies that educators are distinctly positioned to transform dominant ideology in American society.
The definitive archaeological record and what is known or speculated about the ancient Apalachicola and lower Chattahoochee Valley region of northwest Florida, southeast Alabama, and southwest Georgia
In this meticulously researched volume, Nancy Marie White provides a major holistic synthesis of the archaeological record and what is known or surmised about the peoples of the Apalachicola and lower Chattahoochee Valley region of northwest Florida, southeast Alabama, and southwest Georgia. White transforms a neglected research area into a lively saga that spans the time of the first human settlement, around 14,000 years ago, through the Middle Woodland period, ending about AD 700.
White reveals that Paleoindian habitation was more extensive than once surmised. Archaic sites were widespread, and those societies persisted when the Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago. Pottery appeared in the Late Archaic period (before 4000 BP), and Early Woodland–period burial mounds demonstrate a flowering of religious and ritual systems. Middle Woodland societies expanded this mortuary ceremony, and the complex pottery of the Swift Creek and the early Weeden Island ceramic series show an increased fascination with the ornate and unusual. Yet, basic Native American lifeways continued with gathering-fishing-hunting subsistence traditions similar to those of their ancestors.
This volume and its companion form the definitive work on the Apalachicola–lower Chattahoochee Valley region for both scholars and general readers interested in Native Americans of the Southeast.
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