Chapter

Introduction

in In the Shadow of Slavery

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780226317748
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226317755 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226317755.003.0001
Introduction

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This book aims to uncover the early history of enslaved and free Africans and African Americans in New York City between 1626 and 1863. To do so, it relies not only on documents produced by black men and women, such as newspapers, literature, and organizational records, but also documents produced by whites that reveal, perhaps unintentionally, the contours of life for New York City's blacks from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Black men and women left few of their own sources. But the descriptions left by non-blacks, read and interpreted carefully, can provide a wealth of information. In arenas that whites ostensibly created and controlled—courtrooms, almshouses, indeed, the very streets of the city—black people wielded admittedly limited but important influences of their own, to which whites were forced to respond and upon which they often commented.

Keywords: enslavement; African Americans; New York City; black men; non-blacks; free Africans

Chapter.  3642 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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