Special to the Journal
On Thursday, the Albany Civil Rights Institute will hold its fourth Monthly Community Night with featured historian Wilma King speaking on enslaved and free African American children. Her presentation is entitled, “Chattel’s Children in the North and South before the General Emancipation.”
King’s book on children and slavery, Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America, was published by Indiana University Press and won two awards.
King, the Arvarh Strickland Professor of History at the University of Missouri, began her career at Hampton University before moving on to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University. In her long career, her research has focused on African American women and children, free and enslaved, in nineteenth-century America. She has published numerous books and articles, the most recent of which is The Essence of Liberty: Free African American Women before Emancipation (University of Missouri Press, 2006). In addition to her scholarship on slave youth, she has written books on slavery for young readers.
King’s interest in 19th-century African American women and children is an excellent follow=up to March speaker Susan O’Donovan’s presentation on slave women’s transition to freedom in southwest Georgia.
“When we think of slavery, we don’t often think of the children,” said ACRI executive director Lee W. Formwalt. “Young people have played a vital role in the African American freedom struggle over the years,” he noted. Slave children joined their parents in resisting slavery by running away. They resisted the rules of Jim Crow when they were implemented throughout the South after Reconstruction. And it was students who formed the shock troops—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) — of the modern civil rights movement.”
The program is at 7:30 p.m. at the institute, 326 Whitney Avenue, Albany. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing by the author will follow her presentation. Copies of Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America are available for $18 (tax included) in the ACRI gift shop.
The June 24 Monthly Community Night will feature a presentation by Khalil Muhammad on his book just published by Harvard University Press, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Copies of his book are also available in the ACRI gift shop. Hilton Garden Inn Albany and Sam’s Club are the sponsors of ACRI Monthly Community Nights. For more information, contact Formwalt at 432-1698 or<email@example.com.