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Meet the Author:Catherine A. Stewart, Long Past Slavery

at The Newberry - Near North Side

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Location:
Near North Side, Downtown/Loop
60 W Walton St
Btwn N Clark & N Dearborn Streets
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 14

What you'll learn in this literature class:

Meet the Author: Catherine A. Stewart, Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers' Project

From 1936 to 1939, the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project collected life stories from more than 2,300 former African American slaves. These narratives are now widely used as a source to understand the lived experience of those who made the transition from slavery to freedom. But in this examination of the project and its legacy, Catherine A. Stewart shows it was the product of competing visions of the past, as ex-slaves’ memories of bondage, emancipation, and life as freedpeople were used to craft arguments for and against full inclusion of African Americans in society. Dr. Stewart demonstrates how project administrators, such as the folklorist John Lomax; white and black interviewers, including Zora Neale Hurston; and the ex-slaves themselves fought to shape understandings of black identity. She reveals that some influential project employees were also members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, intent on memorializing the Old South. Dr. Stewart places ex-slaves at the center of debates over black citizenship to illuminate African Americans’ struggle to redefine their past as well as their future in the face of formidable opposition.

By shedding new light on a critically important episode in the history of race, remembrance, and the legacy of slavery in the United States, Dr. Stewart compels readers to rethink a prominent archive used to construct that history.

After her talk, Dr. Stewart will sign copies of the book in the Newberry lobby. Long Past Slavery will be available for purchase in the Newberry Bookstore. Your purchase helps to support the Newberry Library, and this program’s featured author.

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Refund Policy
Requests for refunds must be received in writing. To request a refund, email us at [email protected] The Seminars Office retains a 10% processing fee. For single- and two-session seminars, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day before the seminar begins. For seminars meeting more than twice, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day prior to the second class meeting; we cannot give a refund once the seminar has met a second time. Requests for refunds may be placed over the phone, but must be received in writing or via email before the class meets a second time.

After this the class has met (for the second time in a longer course) we pay our instructors and do not give any refunds. We do not offer letters of credit.

If the seminar fails to reach a minimum of seven registrations before the early registration deadline (one week before the first day of the term), the seminar will be canceled and all participants will be fully refunded. The instructor is required to teach the seminar if it reaches seven registrations prior to the early registration deadline. In some cases, a seminar may be offered with fewer than seven registrations at the option of the instructor.

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School: The Newberry

The Newberry

The Newberry is home to a world-class collection of books, manuscripts, maps, music, and other handmade and printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas. The collections span many centuries and feature items such as illuminated medieval manuscripts, rare early...

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