Free People of Color and Childhood in the US South

AHA Session 168
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Roosevelt Room 1 (Marriott Wardman Park, Exhibition Level)
Mary Niall Mitchell, University of New Orleans
LaKisha Simmons, University of Michigan

Session Abstract

This panel focuses on the stories of free people of color during their childhoods in the eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century U.S. South. Each of the papers for this panel seeks to investigate the ways childhood shaped the experiences of free people of color, their families, and their communities. Studies of free people of color in the U.S. are increasingly focused on important distinctions among free people of color based on gender and class. Yet this panel seeks to push the historiographical discussion further by focusing on the important distinction of age. Both the law and society placed important limitations on and provided certain opportunities to free people of color in their childhoods. By looking at case studies in North Carolina and Louisiana, this panel will highlight the important ways those limits and opportunities shaped the lives of free children of color, their families, and their neighbors. The papers for this panel will highlight several important themes including labor, education, and local politics.

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