Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship by Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor

By Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor

american citizens have lengthy seemed the liberty of trip a vital guideline of citizenship. but, within the usa, freedom of flow has traditionally been a correct reserved for whites. during this ebook, Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor exhibits that African american citizens fought obstructions to their mobility over a hundred years earlier than Rosa Parks refused to renounce her seat on a Montgomery bus. those have been "colored travelers," activists who trusted steamships, stagecoaches, and railroads to extend their networks and to struggle slavery and racism. They refused to experience in "Jim Crow" railroad vehicles, fought for the fitting to carry a U.S. passport (and citizenship), and through their transatlantic voyages, tested their radical abolitionism. through targeting the myriad suggestions of black protest, together with the assertions of gendered freedom and citizenship, this ebook tells the tale of the way the elemental act of touring emerged as a entrance line within the conflict for African American equivalent rights earlier than the Civil War.

Drawing on exhaustive examine from U.S. and British newspapers, journals, narratives, and letters, in addition to firsthand debts of such figures as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and William Wells Brown, Pryor illustrates how, within the quest for citizenship, coloured tourists developed principles approximately respectability and challenged racist ideologies that made black mobility a crime.

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