Most strikingly re enslavement cases reveal west contends the importance of family and the ties of affection among enslaved and free blacks in the antebellum south p 6 family or freedom is a slim book 156 pages of textual analysis divided into five well conceived chapters west contextualizes her analysis by providing readers with a brief legal history that begins in seventeenth century virginia and culminates with laws pertaining to certificates of freedom expulsion . Family or freedom is a sophisticated and subtle work that sheds important new light on the legal and social complexities that underpinned both slave and free societies in the late antebellum and civil war south west locates the uneasy and little understood subject of enslavement petitions within the broader history of the hardening of the . In the antebellum south the presence of free people of color was problematic to the white population not only were they possible assistants to enslaved people and potential members of the labor force their very existence undermined popular justifications for slavery. Family or freedom people of color in the antebellum south by emily west new directions in southern flistory lexington university press of kentucky 2012 pp viii 233 5000 isbn 978 0 8131 3692 9 in family or freedom people of color in the antebellum south emily west examines the extraordinary and contradictory practice of free people of color petitioning for voluntary enslavement p 2. West e 2012 family or freedom free people of color in the antebellum south new directions in southern history university of kentucky press lexington kentucky usa pp256 isbn 9780813136929 full text not archived in this repository
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