Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary : The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century

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"Mary Ann Shadd Cary" is the story of this remarkable champion of the rights of black men and women. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was part of the small free black elite who used their education and limited freedoms to fight for the end of slavery and racial oppression. Shadd Cary contributed to the early formulations of racial uplift ideologies, and these principles would be the guidepost for her activism. Mary Ann Shadd Cary is perhaps best known as the first African-American woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America. But her importance does not stop there. She was an active and visible participant in many of the social and political movements that influenced the nineteenth-century: abolition, black emigration and nationalism, women's rights, and temperance. She was also an adventurous and ambitious figure who emigrated to Canada in the 1850s where she taught the children of fugitive slaves and founded her newspaper, the "Provincial Freeman".During the Civil War she recruited black troops for the Union Army, and in the midst of Reconstruction she entered law school at middle-age to become the second black woman attorney in the nation. A vociferous advocate for women's place in the black public sphere as well as in national politics, Shadd Cary battled with her male contemporaries over the right to have an authoritative voice, and she insisted on a role in black community politics both before and after the Civil War. Late in her life she also laid the groundwork for what would become the black women's club movement. A woman who was consistently ahead of her time, Mary Ann Shadd Cary came to embody what W.E.B. DuBois envisioned as the talented tenth.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 521.64g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0253213509
  • 9780253213501
  • 2,018,527

Review quote

"Rhodes provides a well-researched, balanced, clearly written assessment of the extraordinary life of this trailblazing African American feminist and reformer." -Choice "In this book we see how a courageous and pugnacious journalist-activist fought arduously to attain freedom from male dominance and establish a model for future feminists." --Quill & Scroll "Jane Rhodes' wonderful biography of Mary Ann Shadd Cary makes a valuable contribution to the history of Black women in the United States and in Canada. It is well researched and is an insightful and moving portrait of a determined and resourceful Black woman who put all she had into ending slavery and securing full human rights for her people." --Darlene Clark Hine "This is an excellent book. Not only does it illuminate the details of the life of a little-known journalist of considerable accomplishment, but it also contributes to the body of knowledge relevant to numerous other subject areas... The book is informed by excellent research on the part of its author, who has used an impressive range and quality of original as well as secondary sources to construct a comprehensive, highly textured biography." --Rodger Streitmatter Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a courageous and outspoken 19th-century African American who used the press and public speaking to fight slavery and oppression in the United States and Canada. Her life provides a window on the free black experience, emergent black nationalisms, African Americans' gender ideologies, and the formation of a black public sphere. "The extraordinary life of [a] trailblazing African American feminist and reformer ... Recommended highly."Choice"show more

Back cover copy

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a courageous and outspoken nineteenth-century African American who used the press and public speaking to fight slavery and oppression in the United States and Canada. Part of the small free black elite who used their education and limited freedoms to fight for the end of slavery and racial oppression, Shadd Cary is best known as the first African American woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America. But her importance does not stop there. She was an active participant in many of the social and political movements that influenced the nineteenth century -- abolition, black emigration and nationalism, women's rights, and temperance. She emigrated in the 1850s to Canada, where she taught the children of fugitive slaves and founded a newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. During the Civil War, she recruited black troops for the Union Army, and in the midst of Reconstruction she entered law school at middle age to become the second black woman attorney in the nation. A vociferous advocate for women's place in the black public sphere as well as in national politics, she insisted on a role in black community politics both before and after the Civil War. Late in her life she also laid the ground-work for what would become the black women's club movement. Her life offers a window on the free black experience, emergent black nationalisms, African American gender ideologies, and the formation of a black public sphere.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The Making of an Activist 2. Emigration Furor and Notes of Canada West 3. "Trouble in Paradise" 4. "We Have 'Broken the Editorial Ice" 5. The Chatham Years 6. Civil War and the End of the Canadian Sojourn 7. Reconstructing a Life--Reconstructing a People 8. Law and Reform in the Nation's Capital Conclusion: A Life Spent Fighting at the Margins Notes Bibliography Indexshow more

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