Next week, March 11-13, the College of Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World with other co-sponsors, will present After Slavery, a conference examining the social and economic forces that shaped freedom for black people in the post-Emancipation South.

There will be nearly two dozen sessions. Panels will include presentations from outstanding scholars in the fields of labor, Southern and African American history; teachers’ workshops led by award-winning educators and curriculum experts; sessions on public history and commemoration that will bring together public historians, labor and community activists, and officials from the National Parks Service; and a keynote address by the Pulitzer- and Bancroft prize-winning historian Steven Hahn.

Join these teachers and scholars for three days of discussion in historic Charleston—a city whose history is bound inseparably with the institution of slavery, with slave resistance and the monumental struggles over the meaning and scope of emancipation.

To learn more about this important conference, go to A conference poster is available at Conference_Poster.pdf .
. The schedule for the three-day event is below.

Thursday, March 11th

Thursday Session One: 9-10:30am

1. “Land enough to lay our Fathers’ bones upon”: Land Ownership and Property Accumulation after Emancipation
Chair: Lisa Randle, (Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program) College of Charleston
Matt Harper, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill:
Jubilee Riots and Promised Land: Religious Narratives and Black Land Aspirations in the Post-Emancipation South
Bruce Mactavish and Sherrita Camp, Washburn University:
African-American Families, Farms and Autonomy in Northern Mississippi, 1880
Story Matkin-Rawn, University of Central Arkansas:
From Land Ownership to Legal Defense: The World War I Watershed in Black Arkansan Organizing
Comment: Edmund L. Drago, College of Charleston

2. New Religious and Political Communities in the Reconstruction South
Chair: Clarence Taylor, Baruch College (CUNY)
Otis Pickett, University of Mississippi:
Rev. John Lafayette Girardeau and the Ecclesiastical Equality of Freedmen in Charleston, 1866-1877
Luke Harlow, Oakland University:
The Religion of Racial Separatism: the White Evangelical Response to Emancipation in Kentucky
Krystal D. Frazier, West Virginia University:
‘Faith Without Works is Dead’: African American Church Work, Adoptive Kinship and Mediating Repression in the Post-War South
Comment: Clarence Taylor, Baruch College (CUNY)
Charles F. Irons, Elon University

Thursday Session Two: 10:45-12:15pm

3. Contextualizing Reconstruction-Era Racial Violence: New Approaches to Interpreting the Rise, Popularity, and Representation of Vigilantism
(extended session)
Chair: O. Vernon Burton, Coastal Carolina University
Elaine Parsons, Duquesne University:
Klan Violence/Local Violence in Reconstruction-era Union County: A Social Network Analysis
Tsekani Browne, Duquesne University:
Race & Reconstruction: Collective Violence & the (Political) Use of History in Turn-of-the-Century Black Intellectual Discourse
Mitchell Snay, Denison University:
The White League of Louisiana: Race & Democracy in the Late Reconstruction South
Margaret Storey, DePaul University
Hannah Rosen, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

4. New Dawn in the Lowcountry?: Continuity and Change in Coastal Georgia and South Carolina
(extended session)
Chair: Paul Ortiz, University of Florida
Dana Byrd, Yale University:
Picturing Emancipation: Henry P. Moore, Photographer
Janet G. Hudson, University of South Carolina:
A Rice Planter Faces the ‘Complications’ of Free Black Labor
Jeff Strickland, Montclair State University:
Race, Labor, and Occupational Mobility in Charleston, South Carolina, 1850-1880
John M. Bryant, Georgia Southern University:
“Surrounded on All Sides by an Armed and Brutal Mob”: Labor, Politics, and Newspapers Shape the Ogeechee Insurrection, 1868-1869
Comment: Paul Ortiz, University of Florida

Thursday Session Three: 1:30-3:00pm

5. Creating a Free Labor Regime: Violence and the State in the Post-Emancipation South
Chair: Clarence Taylor, Baruch College (CUNY)
William A. Link, University of Florida:
Wage Labor and Slave Emancipation in North Georgia, 1865-1870
Max Grivno, University of Southern Mississippi:
Riots and Railroads, Race and Class: Interpreting the Meridian Riots of 1871
J. Michael Rhyne, Urbana University:
“The Negroes Are No Longer Slaves”: Free Black Families, Free Labor, and Racial Violence in Post-Emancipation Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region
Comment: Susan O’Donovan, (After Slavery Project) University of Memphis

6. Reconstructing Race in North Carolina, 1865-1872
(extended session)
Chair: Scott Reynolds Nelson, College of William and Mary
David C. Williard, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill:
Confederate Veterans and Race in Postwar North Carolina
Daniel Brown, Queen’s University Belfast:
The Freedmen’s Bureau Remit in Postwar Eastern North Carolina
Carole Watterson Troxler, Elon University (Emeritus):
Labor Supply and Reconstruction Violence in a North Carolina Piedmont County
Gregory P. Downs, City College of New York:
Anarchy at the Circumference: Statelessness and the Reconstruction of Authority in Emancipation North Carolina
Comment: Scott Reynolds Nelson, College of William and Mary

Thursday Session Four: 3:15-5:00pm

7. Policing the Lives and Labors of Migrants and Poor Women in the Reconstruction Era
(extended session)
Chair: Cheryl D. Hicks, University of Carolina-Charlotte
Brian D. Page, Ohio State University:
“Like the Oncoming of Cities”: Wartime Migrations and Vagrancy in Civil War-Era Memphis
Elizabeth Parish Smith, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill:
“The accused is the woman that robbed me”:  Convicting Domestic Servants and Prostitutes in New Orleans
Felicity Turner, Duke University:
Prosecutions for Infanticide in Post-Emancipation North Carolina:  Embedding New Ideas of Race and Gender in the Law
Ann Holder, Pratt Institute:
The Sexual Politics of Citizenship in Post-Emancipation Richmond
Comment: Cheryl D. Hicks, University of Carolina-Charlotte

8. From the Border & Beyond: Rewriting Southern and African American History from Outside the Confederacy
(extended session)
Chair: Deirdre Cooper Owens, University of Mississippi
Kate Masur, Northwestern University:
George T. Downing and the Effort to Establish an African American Lobby during Reconstruction
John W. McKerley, Freedmen and Southern Society Project:
The Balance of Political Power: Migration and Independent Black Politics in the Urban Border South, 1877-1908
Jesse T. Schreier, Freedmen and Southern Society Project:
“If we do not work for ourselves, who will?”: Black Mobilization in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, 1866-1898
Leslie A. Schwalm, University of Iowa
“Emancipation’s Diaspora”
Comment: Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday Evening: Public Session—7:30pm
Physician’s Auditorium: College of Charleston

9. Race and Public Memory in Post-Emancipation Charleston
Chair: Bernard E. Powers, Jr., College of Charleston
Stephanie E. Yuhl, College of the Holy Cross:
Remapping the Tourist Trade: Confronting Slavery’s Commercial Core at the Old Slave Mart Museum
Blain Roberts, California State University, Fresno:
A Statue in the Square and a Bench by the Road: The Public Landscape of Race in Charleston
Ethan J. Kytle, California State University, Fresno:
“Is It Okay to Talk About Slavery?”: Race and Historical Tourism in Charleston
Comment: Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College
Bernard E. Powers, Jr., College of Charleston

Friday, March 12th

Friday Session One: 9-10:30am

10. Race, Working-Class Activism, and Repression in the Free Labor South
Chair: Keeanga Taylor, Northwestern University
Robert Cassanello, University of Central Florida:
“Maintaining the Public Peace”: Black Workers, Labor Strikes and the Public Space in Florida, 1867-1882
Robert S. Shelton, Cleveland State University:
Labor, Race, and Political Reform in Galveston, Texas, in the 1880s
Chad Pearson, University of Alabama-Huntsville:
“The South wants to be free”: N. F. Thompson, the KKK, and the Origins of the Southern Open Shop Movement
Comment: Steven A. Reich, James Madison University

11. Taking the Measure of Grassroots Resistance to the Klan and White Paramilitaries
Chair: Talitha L. LeFlouria, Florida Atlantic University:
Aaron Astor, Maryville College:
“Fully Equipped and Prepared to Fight”: Black Politics and Armed Citizenship in Postwar Kentucky
Joseph Moore, University of North Carolina-Greensboro:
Brick Masons, Methodists, and Republicans: Armed Self-Defense in Wimbushville, Abbeville District, in 1877
Thomas F. Brown, Northeast Lakeview College:
Paramilitary Violence and Resistance in Reconstruction-Era North Carolina
Comment: Kwando M. Kinshasa, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Christopher B. Strain, Florida Atlantic University (tentative)

12. Reconsidering the Black Military Experience
Chair: Lewie Reece, Anderson University
Carole Emberton, SUNY Buffalo:
“Only Murder Makes Men”: The Role of Violence in Emancipationist Discourse
Jim Downs, Connecticut College:
“In Sickness and in Health”: Freedwomen’s Health Conditions and the Problems of Enlistment
Nancy Bercaw, University of Mississippi:
Human Remains and the Measure of Freedom: Military Museums in Post-emancipation America
Comment: Kimberly Phillips, College of William and Mary

Friday Session Two: 10:45-12:15pm

13. Solving the South’s “Negro Problem”: Southern Whites and Immigrant Labor in the Early Twentieth Century
Chair: David Gleeson, Northumbria University
J. Vincent Lowery, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay:
Redesigning the Southern Labor Force: Immigration Policy and Questions of Desirability in the Early Twentieth Century Carolinas
Sarah Cornell, University of New Mexico:
“We Have No Rights Because We Have No Vote”: Mexican Workers in Louisiana and Mississippi, 1901-1906
Lauren H. Braun, University of Illinois-Chicago/Temple University:
Confronting the ‘Planter Mentality’: What a Little-Known Experiment in Italian Colonization Tells Us about Labor Relations in the Post-Emancipation South
Comment: Jon Wells, Temple University

14. Upheaval and Change in the Piedmont and Upcountry South
Chair: Valinda Littlefield, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Steven E. Nash, East Tennessee State University:
Mountain Masters Without Slaves: The Aftermath of Slavery in North Carolina’s Mountains, 1865-1867
Bradley Proctor, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill:
Ku Klux Klan Violence, Race, and Citizenship in Rutherford County, North Carolina
Evan P. Bennett, Florida Atlantic University:
Does the Crop Matter?: Connecting Fields and Ballot Boxes in the Virginia-North Carolina
Comment: John C. Inscoe, University of Georgia

15. Southern Populism and the Color Line: New Research and Interpretations
Chair: Cindy Hahamovitch, College of William and Mary
Omar H. Ali, Towson University:
The Making of Black Populism in the New South: A Regional Study of Post-Emancipation Independent Political Struggle
Joel Sipress, University of Wisconsin-Superior:
“The Interests of the White and Colored People of the South Are Identical”: Populism and Race in Grant Parish, Louisiana
David Silkenat, North Dakota State University:
“Nothing Less than a Question of Slavery or Freedom”: Debt, Race, and Populism in North Carolina
Comment: James M. Beeby, Indiana University Southeast

Friday Lunchtime: 12:30-1:15pm
FILM: I Am Somebody
Introduced by Mary Moultrie, Local 1199 Organizer, 1969 strike leader
In 1969, 400 poorly paid black women— Charleston hospital workers—went on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the National Guard and the state government. Supported by such notables as Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, and Coretta Scott King, the women nonetheless conducted a strike under the guidance of District 1199, the New York-based union, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. A testament to the courage of these women who would not be humbled, I AM SOMEBODY is both an inspiring film and an important historical record.

Friday Session Three: 1:30-3:00pm

16. Race Polarization, Activist Traditions and the Labor Question in the Post-‘Redemption’ South
Chair: Kimberley Phillips, College of William and Mary
Deborah Beckel, Independent Scholar:
Cultural Dissidence: Relationships Between North Carolina and Northern Political and Labor Activists in the Post-Emancipation Era
Aaron Reynolds, University of Texas-Austin:
“If I had known it was an Island, I would not have gone.” Life and Labor in Florida’s East Coast Railroad Work Camps, 1905-1906
Robert H. Woodrum, Clark Atlanta University:
“History Has Taught Us a Lesson”: The International Longshoremen’s Association and Black Working Class Activism in Mobile, Alabama, 1900-1913
Comment: Eric Arnesen, George Washington University

17. The ‘Feasible Limits’ of Resistance: Negotiation, Accommodation and Black Politics at the Nadir
Chair: Janette Thomas Greenwood, Clark University
Dorothy Pratt, University of South Carolina-Columbia:
The Conundrum of Isaiah Montgomery
Nikki Taylor, University of Cincinnati:
The Democratic Machine as a Vehicle for African- American Citizenship?: The Politics of Peter H. Clark, 1882-1888
Hilary N. Green, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill:
“Colored Teachers for Colored Schools”: Richmond Colored Normal Graduates Struggle for Employment
Comment: Janette Thomas Greenwood, Clark University

18. Political Economy and Historical Possibility after the End of Slavery
Chair: Bruce Baker, (After Slavery Project) University of London-Royal Holloway
Scott Reynolds Nelson, College of William and Mary:
Scapegoats and Scapegraces: Black Southerners, Redemptionist Violence, and the Economic Fate of the Postwar South
Keeanga Taylor, Northwestern University:
The World the Freedmen Made: Re-considering Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction and the Possibilities and Limitations of Multiracial Democracy in the South
William McKee Evans, California State Polytechnic University (Emeritus):
Why the Half-Century Delay between Emancipation and the Great Migration?
Comment: Alex Lichtenstein, Florida International University

Friday Session Four: 3:15-5pm

19. Freedom on Trial: The Role of the Courts in Protecting African American Rights, 1870-1900
Chair: Felicity Turner, Duke University
Lou Falkner Williams, Kansas State University:
“A Wearisome and almost thankless work”: David Corbin, William Stone, and the Black Franchise
Christopher Waldrep, San Francisco State University:
The Supreme Court and African-American Jury Service, 1875-1900
William Lewis Burke, Jr., University of South Carolina-Columbia
Troubled Fields: The Pink Franklin Case
Comment: William C. Hine, South Carolina State University at Orangeburg

20. Vision, Agency, and Constraint: Parameters of Political Mobilization in the Reconstruction South
Chair: Ken Riley, ILA Local 1422 (Charleston)
James Illingworth, University of California Santa Cruz:
Urban Unrest and the Origins of Radical Reconstruction in New Orleans, 1865-67
Brian Kelly, (After Slavery Project) Queen’s University Belfast:
‘Storm Beyond Control’: Freedpeople and the Republican Party in Reconstruction South Carolina
Justin Behrend, SUNY Geneseo:
The Problem of Black Democrats: Allegiances, Elections, and Competing Visions of Political Community during Reconstruction
Comment: Leslie S. Rowland, (Freedmen and Southern Society Project) University of Maryland
Yohuru Williams, Fairfield University (tentative)

Friday Evening Keynote: 7:30pm
Steven Hahn, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania:
“Reconstruction and the American Political Tradition”

Ken Riley, ILA Local 1422
Brian Kelly, After Slavery Project

Reception to Follow
Co-Sponsored by the African American Historical Alliance of South Carolina and The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Saturday, March 13th

Saturday Session 1: 10:00-11:30

21. Teachers’ Workshop: Reconstructing Lives, 1865 and Beyond: Exploring Race, Labor, and Political Change after Slavery
Chair: Donald Stewart, SC Department of Archives and History
Susan O’Donovan, (After Slavery Project) University of Memphis:
Online Resources: Using the After Slavery Website in the History Classroom
Thomas Riddle and Paula Burgess (Social Studies Coordinators, Greenville County [SC] Public Schools):
If Walls Could Speak: Discovering the African-American History of Greenville through Historic Preservation
Ann Claunch, U. S. National History Day:
Supporting Secondary Students Engaged in Historical Research
Comment: Audience

22. Roundtable: Forced Labor in the South after Slavery: the Longue Durée
(Sponsored by the Southern Labor Studies Association and the Labor and Working Class History Association)
Chair: Heather Ann Thompson, Temple University
Alex Lichtenstein, Florida International University:
What Made the South Different?
Talitha L. LeFlouria, Florida Atlantic University:
Exploring Black Women’s Lives and Labor in Georgia’s Convict Lease and Chain Gang Systems
Douglas Blackmon, Author and Journalist, Wall Street Journal:
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II
Robert Chase, Case Western University:
Slaves of the State Revolt: How a Divided System of Southern Prison Labor Created a Prison-Made Civil Rights Movement
Comment: Heather Ann Thompson, Temple University

Saturday Session 2: 1-3pm

23. Emancipation, Memory, and Commemorative Landscape in the New New South
Chair: Georgette Mayo, Avery Center for African-American History and Culture
James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me
Bernard E. Powers, Jr., College of Charleston
Michael Allen, (Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor) National Parks Service
Thomas J. Brown, (Historic Columbia Foundation/Woodrow Wilson Project) University of South Carolina-Columbia
David Blight, (Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition) Yale University
Comment: Audience

24. Roundtable: Civil Rights Unionism in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Kerry Taylor, (After Slavery Project) The Citadel Oral History Project
Mary Moultrie, Organizer, Local 1199 (Charleston Public Service Workers), leader of 1969 hospital workers strike
Ken Riley, President, Local 1422, International Longshoremen’s Association.
William Saunders, Committee for Better Racial Assurance, leader of 1969 hospital workers strike
Comment: Audience 

Saturday Closing Plenary: 3-3:45pm
Participants TBA