Steven Hahn, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, 2003

Hahn’s work examines black grassroots politics in the south from the antebellum period through the Great Migration in order to illuminate the ways in which black slaves and freed men and women struggled in the face of racism and racial violence toward freedom and equal rights. Hahn shows how collectivity—acted out through multiple forms including emigration, separatism, self-help, and racial solidarity—was a vital component of black politics, not just a reactive strategy as it has been portrayed by some scholars. Hahn’s book explores many of the themes that arise in the works of Brown, Holt, and Rosen, such as the political traditions and multiple publics forged by southern African Americans before and after the Civil War as well as the importance of collectivity in black southern political imaginaries.

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