Public Program Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence 13 July 2021.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM This program co-sponsored by the MHS and hosted by the Boston Athenaeum Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College This program is free for MHS Members/Fellows Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Spring_2021/Untitled.jpg

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In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through rousing public speeches, the burgeoning black press, and the formation of milita groups, black abolitionist leaders mobilized their communities, compelled national action, and drew international attention. Drawing on the precedent and pathos of the American and Haitian Revolutions, African American abolitionists used violence as a political language and a means of provoking social change. Through tactical violence, black abolitionist leaders accomplished what white nonviolent abolitionists could not: creating the conditions that necessitated the Civil War. Force and Freedom takes readers beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.