Elizabeth Keckley in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

Spielberg based more than 40 of his characters on historical figures; included in this group is Elizabeth Keckley, an enslaved woman whose 1868 book (Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House) UNC Press and the UNC Library republished last year through the DocSouth Books program. Continue Reading Elizabeth Keckley in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

Kate Masur on Lincoln’s emigration proposal and the views of African American delegates

For all the attention to Lincoln’s ideas and motivations, however, there has been very little focus on the delegates’ side of the story. For decades no one even knew who they were, much less what they stood for. Drawing on the work of the historian Benjamin Quarles, many believed that four of the five delegates were uneducated former slaves, hand-picked by Lincoln and his colonization commissioner, James Mitchell, to be pliable and subservient.

In fact, all five of the men who listened to Lincoln’s case for colonization were members of Washington’s free black elite, chosen by a formal meeting of representatives from Washington’s independent black churches. Continue Reading Kate Masur on Lincoln’s emigration proposal and the views of African American delegates

“Was Freedom Enough?” Gregory Downs at NY Times Disunion Blog

An excerpt from Gregory Downs’s blog at the NY Times Disunion Series concerning the livelihood of newly emancipated slaves. Continue Reading “Was Freedom Enough?” Gregory Downs at NY Times Disunion Blog

Awards Season at UNC Press!

We hate to brag. Really, we do. But….UNC Press authors have been raking in the prizes the last few months. Here are our latest award winners–check them out!