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The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century

Gabrielle Foreman, Jim Casey, and Sarah Patterson’s edited collection is now out from the University of North Carolina Press.
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The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century

The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century is the first volume of essays to focus on the Colored Conventions movement, the nineteenth century's longest campaign for Black civil rights. Well before the founding of the NAACP and other twentieth-century pillars of the civil rights movement, tens of thousands of Black leaders organized state and national conventions across North America. Over seven decades, they advocated for social justice and against slavery, protesting state-sanctioned and mob violence while demanding voting, legal, labor, and educational rights. While Black-led activism in this era is often overshadowed by the attention paid to the abolition movement, this collection centers Black activist networks, influence, and institution building. Collectively, these essays highlight the vital role of the Colored Conventions in the lives of thousands of early organizers, including many of the most famous writers, ministers, politicians, and entrepreneurs in the long history of Black activism.

The volume was included on Ms. Magazine's anticipated books of March 2021 list.