Category: Excerpts

Excerpt: John Tyler, the Accidental President, by Edward P. Crapol

Never the weeping willow of a creature his enemies loved to mock and deride, President Tyler was a decisive and energetic leader who established several important executive precedents that helped shape the direction of America’s nineteenth-century imperial destiny. Continue Reading Excerpt: John Tyler, the Accidental President, by Edward P. Crapol

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

“My work completely takes all my energy,” Nina said later, “but when there are kids who come backstage afterward who want to talk, or who are moved to the point sometimes, they’re moved to tears and want to know more about it, they shake my hand and kiss me and want to talk about their problems, I find the time to do so.” Continue Reading Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

Excerpt: Freedom’s Teacher, by Katherine Mellen Charron

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 3, 1898, Septima Earthaline Poinsette entered a world that had been shaped as African Americans gained and lost political power after the Civil War. Freedom for most black Carolinians, including her slave-born father, had arrived only three decades earlier, and the Low Country, with its majority black population, had served as the epicenter of black militancy and political activism. Continue Reading Excerpt: Freedom’s Teacher, by Katherine Mellen Charron

Book excerpt: Whiting Up, by Marvin McAllister

In this excerpt from Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels & Stage Europeans in African American Performance, McAllister describes some 19th-century black fashionistas in New York and Charleston. Continue Reading Book excerpt: Whiting Up, by Marvin McAllister

Excerpt: John Brown Still Lives!, by R. Blakeslee Gilpin

Throughout the early decades of the twentieth century, outwardly progressive philanthropists like Villard frustrated and were frustrated by the opinions and personalities of outspoken blacks like Du Bois. Observed through the prism of John Brown, their story reveals the strategies and conflicts involved in the greater project for racial equality, the longest and most significant struggle in American history. Continue Reading Excerpt: John Brown Still Lives!, by R. Blakeslee Gilpin

Excerpt: Southscapes: Thadious Davis on the work of Ernest Gaines

His writing recovers and preserves a culture and a place that is an exterior, realistic landscape but is also a representation of his own subjectively shaped interior life that is dependent on the space of the plantation as it existed in his youth. Continue Reading Excerpt: Southscapes: Thadious Davis on the work of Ernest Gaines

Mark E. Neely Jr: Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation – An Excerpt

Much has been lost by this failure to consider both of the American constitutions in the Civil War. Since the constitutions were markedly similar in content, the historian has the opportunity to see the document tested in two different societies at the same time. The opportunity for comparisons is unequaled in history. And ultimately our judgments on the role of the Constitution in war should appear doubly sound. Continue Reading Mark E. Neely Jr: Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation – An Excerpt

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: Forging Freedom – An Excerpt

In this excerpt from ‘Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston,’ by Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, we meet a family of free black women who possessed an unusual amount of wealth and autonomy. Continue Reading Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: Forging Freedom – An Excerpt