History Podcasts

Review: Volume 22 - African History

Review: Volume 22 - African History

What does Empire mean today? There is the unalloyed working of capitalism, the manufacture and exacerbation of a global hierarchy, reinforced by the "free" workings of the market creating unequal windows of opportunity and material outcomes. The gap between rich and poor continues to grow, not exclusively along geographical lines (there are, after all, many poor in the global North and some rich in the global South) yet, nonetheless, principally along these lines. This hierarchy is only in part self-creating and self-sustaining. It is also willed and locked into place by the states, the governments in power, of the North and their quasi-international panoply of institutions (the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and the like). The space for quasi-left experimentation in the South has gone now and capitalist practitioners face only a weak opposition. What does this mean for those at its receiving end, those in a global South? Those increasingly unable to defend themselves against the "free global market" as projected upon them by the US, the IMF, the WTO. What else is this, if not recolonization?


Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09640.326 Author/Creator: Virginia Quarterly Review Place Written: Charlottesville, Virginia Type: Pamphlet Date: 1946 Pagination: 159 p. 24.8 x 16.3 cm.

One issue of The Virginia Quarterly Issue dated Spring 1946. Item is a periodical of political writing consisting of topics such as: conservatism in the South, the British Labor Movement, Benjamin Franklin, Harry Truman, a revolution in Eastern Europe and poetry.

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Richard Allen and African-American Identity

Richard Allen was a success. Born into slavery in Philadelphia in 1760, he died in 1831 not only free but influential, a founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its first bishop. Allen's rise has much of the classic American success story about it, but he bears a larger significance: Allen, as one of the first African-Americans to be emancipated during the Revolutionary Era, had to forge an identity for his people as well as for himself.

Sold as a child along with his family to a farmer in Delaware, Allen began his ascent in 1777, when he was converted to Methodism by Freeborn Garretson, an itinerant preacher. Garretson also converted Allen's master and convinced him that on Judgment Day slaveholders would be "weighted in the balance, and . . . found wanting." Allowed by his repentant owner to buy his freedom, Allen earned a living sawing cordwood and driving a wagon during the Revolutionary War. After the war he furthered the Methodist cause by becoming a "licensed exhorter," preaching to blacks and whites from New York to South Carolina. His efforts attracted the attention of Methodist leaders, including Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Church. In 1786 Allen was appointed as an assistant minister in Philadelphia, serving the racially mixed congregation of St. George's Methodist Church. The following year he and Absalom Jones, another black preacher, joined other ex-slaves and Quaker philanthropists to form the Free African Society, a quasi-religious benevolent organization that offered fellowship and mutual aid to "free Africans and their descendants."

Allen remained a staunch Methodist throughout his life. In 1789, when the Free African Society adopted various Quaker practices, such as having fifteen minutes of silence at its meetings, Allen led a withdrawal of those who preferred more enthusiastic Methodist practices. In 1794 he rejected an offer to become the pastor of the church the Free African Society had built, St. Thomas's African Episcopal Church, a position ultimately accepted by Absalom Jones. A large majority of the society had chosen to affiliate with the white Episcopal (formerly Anglican) Church because much of the city's black community had been Anglican since the 1740s. "I informed them that I could not be anything else but a Methodist, as I was born and awakened under them," Allen recalled.

To reconcile his faith and his African-American identity, Allen decided to form his own congregation. He gathered a group of ten black Methodists and took over a blacksmith's shop in the increasingly black southern section of the city, converting it to the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Although the Bethel Church opened in a ceremony led by Bishop Francis Asbury in July 1794, its tiny congregation worshiped "separate from our white brethren."

Allen's decision to found a black congregation was partly a response to white racism. Although most white Methodists in the 1790s favored emancipation, they did not treat free blacks as equals. They refused to allow African-Americans to be buried in the congregation's cemetery and, in a famous incident in 1792, segregated them into a newly built gallery of St. George's Methodist Church. But Allen's action also reflected a desire among African- Americans to control their religious lives, to have the power, for example, "to call any brother that appears to us adequate to the task to preach or exhort as a local preacher, without the interference of the Conference." By 1795 the congregation of Allen's Bethel Church numbered 121 a decade later it had grown to 457, and by 1813 it had reached 1,272.

Bethel's rapid expansion reflected the growth of Philadelphia's black population, which numbered nearly 10,000 by 1810, and the appeal of Methodist practices. Newly freed blacks welcomed "love feasts," which allowed the full expression of emotions repressed under slavery. They were attracted as well by the church's strict system of discipline--its communal sanctions against drinking, gambling, and infidelity--which helped them bring order to their lives. Allen's preaching also played a role the excellence of his sermons was recognized in 1799, when Bishop Asbury ordained him as the first black deacon of the Methodist Church.

But over the years Allen and other blacks grew dissatisfied with Methodism, as white ministers retreated from their antislavery principles and attempted to curb the autonomy of African-American congregations. In 1807 the Bethel Church added an "African Supplement" to its articles of incorporation in 1816 it won legal recognition as an independent church. In the same year Allen and representatives from four other black Methodist congregations (in Baltimore Wilmington, Delaware Salem, New Jersey and Attleboro, Pennsylvania) met at the Bethel Church to organize a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Allen was chosen as the first bishop of the church, the first fully independent black denomination in America. He had succeeded in charting a separate religious identity for African-Americans.

Allen also recognized the importance of education to the future of the African-American community. In 1795 he opened a day school for sixty children and in 1804 founded the "Society of Free People of Colour for Promoting the Instruction and School Education of Children of African Descent." By 1811 there were no fewer than 11 black schools in the city.

But where did Allen think "free people of colour" should look for their future? This question had arisen in Philadelphia in 1787, when William Thornton had promoted a plan devised by antislavery groups in London to settle free American blacks (and emancipated slaves from the West Indies) in Sierra Leone, an independent state they had founded on the west coast of Africa. Many blacks in Boston and Newport had endorsed this scheme, but the members of Philadelphia's Free African Society had rejected it. They preferred to seek advancement in America, but on their own cultural terms. The process took place on two levels: As a social group, Philadelphia blacks embraced their ancestral heritage by forming "African" churches and benevolent societies. As individuals, however, they affirmed their American identity by taking English names (although virtually never those of their former owners). This dual strategy brought pride but not significant gains in wealth and status. Nonetheless, Philadelphia's African-Americans rejected colonization when the issue was raised again just after 1800: only four people signed up for emigration to Sierra Leone.

Instead, the city's black community petitioned the state and national governments to end slavery and the slave trade and repeal the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which allowed slaveowners to seize blacks without a warrant. As if to underline the importance of these political initiatives, Allen was temporarily seized in 1806 as a fugitive slave, showing that even the most prominent northern blacks could not be sure of their freedom. This experience may account for Allen's initial support for the American Colonization Society, a predominantly white organization founded in 1817 to promote the settlement of free blacks in Africa. This scheme was immediately condemned at a mass meeting of nearly 3,000 Philadelphia blacks, who set forth a different vision of the African-American future: "Whereas our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants feel ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant soil."

Philadelphia's black community, including Allen, was more favorably inclined toward the Haitian Emigration Society, which was founded in 1824 to help African-Americans settle in that island republic. But when that venture failed, Allen forcefully urged blacks to remain in the United States. In November 1827 he made a compelling argument in Freedom's Journal, the nation's first black newspaper: "This land which we have watered with our tears and our blood is now our mother country."

Born a slave of African ancestry, Allen learned to live as a free man in white America, rejecting emigration and preserving his cultural identity by creating separate African-American institutions. But it meant that he cast his lot, and that of his descendants, with a society pervaded by racism. It was a brave decision, both characteristic of the man who made it and indicative of the limited choices available to those freed from the bonds of slavery.

(Reprinted from James A. Henretta, Elliot Brownlee, David Brody, Susan Ware, and Marilynn Johnson, America's History, Third Edition, Worth Publishers Inc., 1997 Copyright: Worth Publishers Inc. For the personal use of subscribers of the Early America Review for permission to reprint or duplicate, contact Paul Shensa, Worth Pub. 1-212-475-6000)


Decolonizing Justice in Tunisia

From Transitional Justice to a People's Tribunal

Building on decades of struggle, the January 2011 Tunisian uprising triggered a wave of popular revolt that spread across North Africa and West Asia. After the uprising, Tunisia became the focus of a celebrated project of transitional justice, which is now the globally mandated method of reconciling victims and perpetrators following a nonrevolutionary regime change. However, Tunisia’s process of transitional justice must be critically examined. The very paradigm employed&mdashthat is, the rule of law that transitional justice consistently seeks to impose&mdashis skewed in favor of imperial interests, which can be traced to the paradigm’s origins in the mid&ndashtwentieth century victory of European powers over Nazi Germany and its allies. There are other models of justice, however, that are not rooted in this Eurocentric victor’s history, but instead derive from revolutionary traditions. A key one is the People’s Tribunal, used since the late 1960s. The convening of a People’s Tribunal in Tunisia could help amplify and extend the popular-justice claims that surfaced during the country’s recent transitional-justice process. Establishing such a tribunal might help build a symbolic reservoir and organizational force that could ultimately contribute to substantial revolutionary change in the country. | more&hellip


Teaching history taking to medical students: a systematic review

Background: This paper is an up-to-date systematic review on educational interventions addressing history taking. The authors noted that despite the plethora of specialized training programs designed to enhance students' interviewing skills there had not been a review of the literature to assess the quality of each published method of teaching history taking in undergraduate medical education based on the evidence of the program's efficacy.

Methods: The databases PubMed, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, opengrey, opendoar and SSRN were searched using key words related to medical education and history taking. Articles that described an educational intervention to improve medical students' history-taking skills were selected and reviewed. Included studies had to evaluate learning progress. Study quality was assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI).

Results: Seventy-eight full-text articles were identified and reviewed of these, 23 studies met the final inclusion criteria. Three studies applied an instructional approach using scripts, lectures, demonstrations and an online course. Seventeen studies applied a more experiential approach by implementing small group workshops including role-play, interviews with patients and feedback. Three studies applied a creative approach. Two of these studies made use of improvisational theatre and one introduced a simulation using Lego® building blocks. Twenty-two studies reported an improvement in students' history taking skills. Mean MERSQI score was 10.4 (range 6.5 to 14 SD = 2.65).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that several different educational interventions are effective in teaching history taking skills to medical students. Small group workshops including role-play and interviews with real patients, followed by feedback and discussion, are widespread and best investigated. Feedback using videotape review was also reported as particularly instructive. Students in the early preclinical state might profit from approaches helping them to focus on interview skills and not being distracted by thinking about differential diagnoses or clinical management. The heterogeneity of outcome data and the varied ways of assessment strongly suggest the need for further research as many studies did not meet basic methodological criteria. Randomized controlled trials using external assessment methods, standardized measurement tools and reporting long-term data are recommended to evaluate the efficacy of courses on history taking.


'African Americans in the Early Republic'

African Americans in the Early Republic, 1789-1831. By Donald R. Wright. (Arlington Heights, Ill.: Harlan Davidson Inc., 1993. 252 pp., index, biblio. essay, no notes, paper). This thoughtful book, the sequel to Wright's African Americans in the Colonial Era, is part of the American History Series edited by John Hope Franklin and Abraham S. Eisenstadt. It is an excellent survey of the lives and thoughts of blacks during the first four decades of this nation's existence.

Donald Wright's extensive knowledge of the historical literature concerning this subject, combined with his crisp prose and knack for organization, make African Americans in the Early Republic not only useful, but a joy to read. Wright looks especially closely at what he terms "a second forced migration," the varying nature of slave life, slave revolts and slave resistance, the life of free blacks, and the Early Republic's mix of racism, colonizationism, and abolitionism.

Although not a product of extensive primary research, Wright's contribution could still be termed original because he condenses, analyzes, and synthesizes a wide variety of secondary works into a highly readable, accessible form. Undergraduates and general readers looking for a brief, yet accurate and able description of both African American history, and African American historiography, will benefit most from this book. By using a number of well-placed firsthand accounts, especially those of Charles Ball, Wright's account is neither pedantic nor filled with meaningless over-generalization.

Researchers may find the complete lack of citations annoying, especially when Wright discusses African epidemiology and other less known facets of African American life in the Early Republic. Graduate students and established historians in other areas of specialization can benefit from Wright's lucid historiographical analyses, which cover most of the major works of the last twenty-five years. Unfortunately, Norrece Jones' provocative Born a Child of Freedom, Yet a Slave (1990) is not discussed. Even established historians in this field may benefit from Wright's careful balancing between conflicting historiographical interpretations and his own sense of the past. Aside from the lack of footnotes, and a few potentially controversial statements impossible to eradicate from a book dealing with race, Wright's African Americans in the Early Republic should find its way onto the bookshelves of many students and scholars.---------Robert E. Wright


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The Westminster Review

The Westminster Review was a British journal of political and social commentary published in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Publication History

The Westminster Review began in 1824. It absorbed the London Review in 1836, and the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1846. In both cases, it published under a combined titles for some years before reverting to simply being called Westminster Review. A new series began in 1852, but in mid-1887 the numbering returned to counting from the overall beginning of the serial. It ceased publication in 1914. Some volumes were published in American editions I do not know if their contents were different in any significant way from the original British editions.

Persistent Archives of Complete Issues

  • 1824-1914: HathiTrust has volumes 1-150 and 152-181. Some of these copies are American editions, and some British. Access to volumes after 1895 may be restricted outside the United States. See below for copies of some of those volumes that are readable worldwide.
  • 1877: The Internet Archive has new series volume 52 (also reckoned as volume 108 overall), covering July and October 1877 issues.
  • 1878: The Internet Archive has new series volume 53 (also reckoned as volume 109 overall), covering January and April 1878 issues.
  • 1878: The Internet Archive has new series volume 54 (also reckoned as volume 110 overall), covering July and October 1878 issues.
  • 1879: The Internet Archive has new series volume 55 (also reckoned as volume 111 overall), covering January and April 1879 issues.
  • 1886: The Internet Archive has new series volume 70 (also reckoned as volume 126 overall), covering July and October 1886 issues.
  • 1890: The Internet Archive has volume 134, covering July-December 1890.
  • 1891: The Internet Archive has volume 136, covering July-December 1891.
  • 1892: The Internet Archive has volume 137, covering January-June 1892.
  • 1900: The Internet Archive has volume 153, covering January-June 1900.
  • 1900: The Internet Archive has volume 154, covering July-December 1900.
  • 1901: The Internet Archive has volume 155, covering January-June 1901.
  • 1902: The Internet Archive has volume 158, covering July-December 1902.
  • 1903: The Internet Archive has volume 159, covering January-June 1903.
  • 1903: The Internet Archive has volume 160, covering July-December 1903.
  • 1904: The Internet Archive has volume 161, covering January-June 1904.
  • 1906: The Internet Archive has volume 166, covering July-December 1906.

This is a record of a major serial archive. This page is maintained for The Online Books Page. (See our criteria for listing serial archives.) This page has no affiliation with the serial or its publisher.


Jessica Marie Johnson

Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University and the Spring 2021 Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is also the Director of LifexCode: Digital Humanities Against Enclosure.

Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora. She is the author of Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2020). Wicked Flesh is the recipient of the 2021 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History from the Louisiana Historical Association and the Historic New Orleans Collection, the 2021 Rebel Women's Lit Caribbean Readers Award in Non-Fiction, a 2021 Honorable Mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and a 2021 Honorable Mention for the Pauli Murray Prize from the African American Intellectual History Society.

She is co-editor with Lauren Tilton and David Mmimo of Debates in the Digital Humanities: Computational Humanities (under peer review). She is guest editor of Slavery in the Machine, a special issue of archipelagos journal (formerly sx:archipelagos) (2019) and co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017).

Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, American Quarterly, Social Text, The Journal of African American History, the William & Mary Quarterly, Debates in the Digital Humanities (2nd edition), Forum Journal, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), Somatosphere and Post-Colonial Digital Humanities (DHPoco) and her book chapters have appeared in multiple edited collections.

She is the Founding Curator of #ADPhDProjects which brings social justice and histories of slavery together. She is also a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence and a co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky). Her past collaborations include organizing with the LatiNegrxs Project.

At Johns Hopkins University, Johnson is a co-convener of the Black World Seminar with Drs. Nathan Connolly, Larry Jackson, and Martha Jones as well as convener of the Sex and Slavery Lab (2018-2019). She is affiliate faculty in the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

As a historian and Black Studies scholar, Johnson researches black diasporic freedom struggles from slavery to emancipation. As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent.

She is the recipient of research fellowships and awards from the Mellon-African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum) at the University of Maryland, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Richards Civil War Era Center and Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.

My published work can be found in Slavery & Abolition, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, Debates in the Digital Humanities, The Black Scholar, #DHPoCo: Postcolonial Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities Now, the Focus: The Princeton Department of African and African-American Studies Re:Sponse Series on Medium, and the African American Intellectual History Society blog.

I also blog on slavery, feminism, and radical media at my personal blog/workspace Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog.

My digital work has received critical review in differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies (2014) and Uri McMillan's Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance.


Walking Club: Walking Tours Teach History of St. Pete African American Community

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla- — Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

There is a way to learn about the history of the African American community in St. Pete and get your steps in at the same time.

The 22nd Street South trail runs north and south and is called “Community, Culture and Commerce”. It stretches just over a mile and has ten stops. Click here to read more.

The 9th Avenue South trail runs east and west. It touches on education and religion. It runs 1.25 miles and also has ten stops. You can read more about it by clicking here.

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!


Watch the video: Αφρικανική Μουσική και Μουσικά Όργανα (January 2022).