P. Gabrielle Foreman and Jim Casey, "The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century" (UNC Press, 2021)

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P. Gabrielle Foreman and Jim Casey's edited volume The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century (UNC Press, 2021) is the first to focus on the Colored Conventions movement, the nineteenth century's longest campaign for Black civil rights. Well before the founding of the NAACP and other twentieth-century pillars of the civil rights movement, tens of thousands of Black leaders organized state and national conventions across North America. Over seven decades, they advocated for social justice and against slavery, protesting state-sanctioned and mob violence while demanding voting, legal, labor, and educational rights. While Black-led activism in this era is often overshadowed by the attention paid to the abolition movement, this collection centers Black activist networks, influence, and institution building. Collectively, these essays highlight the vital role of the Colored Conventions in the lives of thousands of early organizers, including many of the most famous writers, ministers, politicians, and entrepreneurs in the long history of Black activism. Explore accompanying exhibits and historical records at The Colored Conventions Project website.

Adam McNeil is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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