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Black Founders: The Free Black Community in the Early Republic

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Black Founders examines the activities of newly-freed African Americans in the North as they struggled to forge organizations and institutions to promote their burgeoning communities and to attain equal rights in the face of slavery and racism. Leaders emerged—many of them former slaves—who worked to organize independent churches, schools, and fraternal and educational associations, and to champion blacks’ inclusion as equal citizens in the American landscape. Deeply spiritual people, they held close the tenets of egalitarian Christianity and the affirmation in the Declaration of Independence of the unalienable right to liberty. They were the most consistent voices for multiracial democracy in the new republic, and their words and deeds helped inspire a vigorous American antislavery movement.

Early African American Print Culture in Theory and Practice

Phil Lapsansky: Appreciations

A collection of essays honoring Phillip S. Lapsansky on his retirement after more than forty years of service to the Library Company of Philadelphia, 1971–2012

Presented June 15, 2012

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