The Declaration of Independence described “all men” as “created equal” when its authors knew they were not. So was the revolutionary idea of freedom dependent on slavery?
In this last episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we return to the place our series began: the world of Paul Revere. We speak with Christopher Cameron, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, to discuss how Phillis Wheatley, Cesar Sarter and other black revolutionaries in Massachusetts grappled with the seeming paradox of American freedom as they fought to end slavery during the American Revolution.
About the Series
The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series. is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”
The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It’s produced by the Omohundro Institute.
Be sure to check out Doing History season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Christopher Cameron, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement, joins us to discuss how Phillis Wheatley, Cesar Sarter and other black revolutionaries grappled with the seeming paradox of American freedom as they fought to end slavery during the American Revolution.
What You’ll Discover
- African American communities in 18th-century New England
- Why Boston and Massachusetts became centers of African American antislavery thought and action
- The Great Awakening and the American Revolution
- Phillis Wheatley and her views and writing on slavery
- Cesar Sarter and his antislavery views
- Lemuel Haynes and “Liberty Further Extended”
- David Walker and his Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World
- Connections between revolutionary ideas and modern conceptions of freedom and liberty
- Contributions of revolutionary-era African Americans
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Christopher Cameron
- To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement
- Black Perspectives
- Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom
- Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral (1773)
- Frederick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”
- Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- Omohundro Institute
- OI Reader
- William and Mary Quarterly-Journal of the Early Republic joint issue on the American Revolution ($10 listener-only special)
- Doing History: To the Revolution series
- Episode 025: Jessica Parr, Inventing George Whitefield
- Episode 083: Jared Hardesty, Unfreedom: Slavery in Colonial Boston
- Episode 118: Christy Clark-Pujara, The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island
- Episode 123: Revolutionary Allegiances
- Episode 133: Patrick Breen, The Nat Turner Revolt
- Episode 134: Spencer McBride, Pulpit and Nation
- Episode 137: Erica Dunbar, The Washington’s Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
- Episode 157: The Revolution's African American Soldiers
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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