This week, AWM President Carey Cranston chats with Dr. Manisha Sinha about the legacy of Frederick Douglass and other abolitionists from her book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition. This conversation was recorded live May 28, 2020.
We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer.
“Much of the literature that had been written on slave rebellions and resistance was separate from the story of abolition. And I felt it was really important not just to integrate African Americans back into the movement, but to integrate stories of Black resistance back into the history of abolition.”
“That whiggish notion that we have of American freedom and democracy as progressing in this linear line towards greater and greater freedom is simply not true. If you study American history you can see all these steps back and forth and all the contestations and conflicts at each age.”
“You see the emergence of a quintessential, modern, radical, American movement. And the fact that it was interracial and the fact that women played such an important role in it was really interesting to me.”
“In David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World you could literally hear him because of the ways in which he capitalizes and punctuates the text. When you’re reading it you feel as if you’re hearing him. Your hearing his anger, his frustration at being a Black man in a slaveholding republic.”
“I really enjoyed reading the women abolitionists, their view of abolition as part of a broader human rights project that would also include women’s rights.”