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Race & Slavery in New England (FYS)
Spring 2021
Section: 01  

This course examines struggles over black and Native American slavery, freedom, and community formation in New England. We will explore the lived experiences and freedom struggles of people of color from the beginning of European colonization through the national abolition of slavery in 1865. The course, which satisfies the Early AFAM History requirement for the major, will particularly grapple with Wesleyan's and Middletown's complex relationships to slavery and emancipation. As we will learn, slavery and the slave trade played central roles in New England's culture and economy, especially here in Middletown. Like in other New England ports, Middletown merchants made a fortune from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the plantation economy that supported it, even selling enslaved people of African and Native American descent on Middletown's Main Street. And southern slaveholders were among the first Wesleyan students in the 1830s. At the same time, free African Americans and their allies made Middletown a stop on the Underground Railroad and a center of the antislavery movement, laying the groundwork for Connecticut's eventual abolition of slavery and for high-profile court cases like the Amistad trial. Complicating popular images of the "free North," this course will examine the central roles of slavery and settler colonialism in New England history, while also exploring how the Connecticut River tied Connecticut to regional and even global currents of slavery and antislavery movements.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AFAM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AFAM)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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