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African Americans during Antebellum


When 20 or more African-American children appeared in a school district white ... African American colleges ... works emphasized African- American themes, came ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: African Americans during Antebellum

African Americans during Antebellum
  • Ms. Thomas
  • October 24-28, 2003

Documenting Freedom
  • This certificate indicates that the
    forty-two-year-old mulatto Harriet Bolling was
    freed by James Bolling in 1842. Freeborn blacks
    could stay in Virginia, but emancipated African
    Americans were generally required to leave the
    state. This certificate states that the court
    allowed Bolling "to remain in this Commonwealth
    and reside in Petersburg."

An African American Seaman
  • In the event of capture or impressment, sailors
    needed to have documents on file to verify that
    they were citizens of the United States. For this
    reason the government provided seamen's
    protection certificates for those who served at
    sea, including thousands of African American
    seamen. This certificate is for twenty-year-old
    Samuel Fox who is described as having a "light
    African complexion, black woolly hair and brown

African-American Institutions
  • During antebellum, the black institutions in the
    urban areas of the North and in the South became
    stronger, more numerous and more varied. This
    was because of the growing black populations, the
    exertions of African American elite, and the
    persistence of racial exclusion and segregation.

  • Black institutions included schools, mutual aid
    organizations, benevolent and fraternal
    societies, self-improvement and temperance
    associations, literary groups newspapers and
    journalism and theaters, and the church.

African Americans at Work
  • In 1819 Negroes were listed in thirty different
    occupations, including 11 as carpenters, 10 as
    tailors, 22 as seamstresses, six as shoemakers,
    and one as the owner of a hotel. By 1849 there
    were fifty different types of work listed-
    including 50 carpenters, 43 tailors, 9
    shoemakers, and 21 butchers.

  • The most common black enterprises were small
    cookshops and groceries, which usually doubled as
    saloons and gambling houses where free Negroes,
    slaves, and occasionally whites gathered.

Wilmington's Free African American Population

  • In spite of their skill and efforts, free black
    workers still faced many problems in a
    slave-holding society. For example, Charleston's
    City Council attempted to fix the wages of free
    blacks at 1 per day or 12½ an hour. In
    addition, many whites were hostile to the high
    skill levels of free blacks. While many whites
    avoided "black jobs," there was increasing
    competition for jobs by the late antebellum and
    this increased the hostility of many whites
    against African-Americans.

  • Education was racially segregated b/w 1820-1860.
  • Some public schools such as those in Cleveland,
    Ohio, during the 1850s were racially integrated.
    When 20 or more African-American children
    appeared in a school district white parents
    demanded that they be sent to separate schools.
  • Whites felt that Black children lacked mental
    capacity and lowered the quality of education.
    They also feared that opening schools to black
    children would encourage more black people to
    live in the school district.

  • Until 1848, Ohio and other states of the Old
    Northwest simply excluded black kids from public
    schools and allocated tax revenues to support
    separate facilities.
  • Inadequate public funding resulted in poor
    education or none at all for most black children.

  • Black schools were overcrowded and white teachers
    who taught there received lower pay than those
    who taught in white schools,, and black teachers
    received even less.

  • Prince Hall established the African School in
  • The African Free Schools begun in New York City
    in 1787 by the New York Society for Promoting the
    Manumission of Slaves.
  • By the 1830s, most northern African Americans
    favored racially integrated public education and
    during the 1840s Frederick Douglass became a
    leading advocate for this policy.

Frederick Douglass
Prince Hall
  • The black elite had more success gaining
    admission to northern colleges during the
    antebellum period than most African-American
    children had in gaining an adequate primary
  • African American colleges
  • Ashmum Institute in Oxford, Penn, founded in 1854
    to prepare blk missionaries to go to Africa.
    Renamed Lincoln University, was the first black
    institution of higher learning in the US.
  • Wilberfoce University, founded in 1855 near
    Columbus, Ohio, by the AME church

Earlier Northern Colleges
  • Bowdoin in Maine, Dartmouth in New Hampshire,
    Harvard and Mount Pleasant in Massachusetts,
    Oneida Institute in New York, and Western Reserve
    in Ohio.
  • Oberlin College in Ohio was the most famous
    biracial institution of higher learning during
    the era. By 1860 many northern colleges, law
    schools, medical schools, and seminaries admitted
    black applicants, although not on an equal basis
    with white applicants.

  • Black church buildings were community centers
    which housed schools and were meeting places for
    a variety of organizations.
  • Antislavery societies often met in churches, and
    the church harbored fugitive slaves.
  • They also began schools and various voluntary

Jupiter Hammon
  • Churches spoke against slavery, racial
    oppression, and what they considered weaknesses
    among African Americans.
  • Many followed Jupiter Hammon in admonishing their
    congregations that preparing ones soul for
    heaven was more important that gaining equal
    rights on earth.

  • By 1846 The independent African Methodist
    Episcopal (AME) Church had 2986 congregations in
    the US and Canada with 17, 375 members.
  • 1848 Frederick Douglass maintained that the AME
    Mother Bethel Church in Penn, was the largest
    church in the Union with b/w 2-3 thousand
    worshippers each Sunday.
  • Most black Baptist, Presbyterian,
    Congregationalist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic
    congregations remained affiliated with white
    denominations although they were rarely
    represented in regional and national church

  • William Jay, a white abolitionist convinced the
    New York Episcopalians to admit black
    representatives because they excluded black
    ministers from its annual conventions.

Voluntary Associations
  • Mutual aid societies became attractive to black
    women. Example in 1830 black women in PA had
    27 such organizations compared with 16 for blakc
    men. By 1855 PA ha 108 black mutual aid
    societies, enrolling 9,762 members, with a
    combined annual income of 29, 600.

Benevolent Societies
  • Organized originally in 1828 in NYC by black
    women, these societies distributed used clothing
    to the poor especially poor school children.
  • 1830s- Black women began NYCs Association for
    the Beneit of Colored Prphans, which operated an
    orphanage that had helped 524 children by 1851

  • Prince Hall Masons created new lodges in the
    cities of the Northeast and the Chesapeake.
  • Black Odd Fellows lodges also became common from
    the 1840s.

Prince Hall noted as the Father of Black Masonary
in the US
  • The manifestations of the reform spirit that
    swept the North and much of the upper south
    during antebellum was the self-improvement,
    library, literary, and temperance organizations.
  • This was closely linked to evangelical
    Protestantism, and was maintaining that the moral
    regeneration of individuals was essential to
    perfecting society.
  • Black temperance societies were even more
    widespread than literary and benevolent
    organizations. These were members of the middle
    class who sought to stop the abuse of alcoholic
    beverages by those lower on the social ladder.

Early Black Literary Societies, 1828-1834
(No Transcript)
What did the Temperance Society do?
  • Organized lecture series and handed out
    literature that portrayed the negative physical,
    economic, and moral consequences of liquor.

African Americans in the Arts and Science Field
Best Known Artists
  • Robert S. Duncanson was born in Cincinnati and
    worked in Europe between 1843-1854, painted
    landscapes and portraits.

Portrait by Duncanson
Robert Douglass and
  • A painter who studied in England before
    establishing himself in Philadelphia. Patrick
    Reason, an engraver, created portraits of
    abolitionist during the 1830s and etched
    illustrations of the sufferings of slaves.

Portrait by Reason
Edmonia Lewis
  • Lewis the daughter of a black man and a Chippewa
    woman, was admitted to Oberlin college in Ohio
    with abolitionist help and studied sculpture in
    Rome. Her works emphasized African- American
    themes, came into wide demand after the Civil war.

Black Musicians
  • The best known professional black singer of the
    period was Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, who was
    born a slave in Mississippi and raised by Quakers
    in Philadelphia. She in known as the Black Swan.
    She is renown for her vocal range.

The End.
  • Press the back button to exit.