Massachusetts Historical Society


American Dark Age: Racial Feudalism & the Rise of Black Liberalism


Author: Keidrick J. Roy, Harvard University
Comment: Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College

This is a hybrid event. The in-person reception will begin at 4:30 pm.

Roy’s paper introduces his forthcoming book American Dark Age: Racial Feudalism and the Rise of Black Liberalism. It sets the stage for three questions: (1) Before the Civil War, why did so many prominent Black abolitionists and their proslavery enemies describe slavery in the South and racial hierarchy throughout the country using metaphors that invoked the medieval world? (2) What were the implications of these depictions during their own time and for the history of political thought? And (3) what can Black American efforts to overthrow what W. E. B. Du Bois would later call “American feudalism” teach us today?

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Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 4:30 PM and the seminar will begin at 5:00 PM.

Masks are optional for this event.

The virtual seminar begins at 5:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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