Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste

By: Mark S. Weiner

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A sweeping history of American ideas of belonging and citizenship, told through the stories of fourteen legal cases that helped to shape our nation.
Spanning the period from colonial times to the present, "Black Trials" tells how the place of blacks in American society evolved through the actions of our courts of law. Some of the cases discussed are legendary, such as the ordeal of John Brown, the fiery abolitionist who was hanged for raiding Harpers Ferry in order to equip an army of insurgent slaves. Some are forgotten, such as that of Joseph Hanno, an eighteenth-century free black man charged not only with the brutal murder of his wife but with having brought smallpox to Boston. All of these cases compelled the legal system and the public to reconsider the place of blacks in America and, in so doing, to reconcile our founding ideals with the realities of American life. Drawing on a wealth of new archival sources, Weiner recounts the essential dramas of American civic identity-illuminating where our sense of minority rights has come from and where it might go.
Combining brilliant interdisciplinary analysis with riveting narrative, "Black Trials" offers a new way of thinking about inclusion and citizenship-and by extension about the meaning of America itself.

Title: Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste

Author Name: Mark S. Weiner

Categories: African American Studies,

Publisher: Knopf: October 2004

ISBN Number: 0375409815

ISBN Number 13: 9780375409813

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Used - Good

Seller ID: 6116