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Dissertation Information for Barbara Elizabeth Wallace

- Barbara Elizabeth Wallace

- Ph.D.

- History

- University of California, Los Angeles (USA) (2001)

- Gary B. Nash

- Brenda E. Stevenson
- Richard Alan Yarborough

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: "Fair daughters of Africa": African American women in Baltimore, 1790--1860

Abstract: After 1830, the city of Baltimore contained the largest free African American population of any city, and this trend continued until the Civil War. At the same time, the enslaved population of Baltimore steadily declined after 1820, a phenomenon not experienced in any city below the Mason-Dixon line. The growth of the free black population in Baltimore was fueled largely by in-migration of black women, and although slavery was on the decline, female numbers decreased at a much slower rate than did enslaved males. From 1820 onwards, women comprised the majority of the African Americans in Baltimore; by 1860 women constituted 60 percent of the free and 70 percent of the enslaved black population.

While numerous free black community studies have examined the lives of this anomalous group whose experiences called into the question the meaning of American liberty, the tendency has been to universalize the free black experience as male. Women's central roles and crucial efforts on behalf of black communities have been slighted or ignored altogether. Thus, a consideration of women in the country's largest urban free black community seems an ideal opportunity to explore fully the lives of these women and their role in both the creation and maintenance of community in the antebellum era. This dissertation studies in-depth the various aspects that shaped--and were shaped by--black women in antebellum Baltimore. While the focus is on free black women, a consideration of the lives of enslaved women is not overlooked. Black women's distinct experiences in the family, forced and paid-labor outside of the home, religion, and resistance are explored. The commitment of black women to improving their own lives as well as those of their community were vital to any and all successes that blacks could claim in antebellum Baltimore.

MPACT Scores for Barbara Elizabeth Wallace

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-09-03 21:57:14

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Students under Barbara Elizabeth Wallace

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