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A Fragile Freedom
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A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City

Erica Armstrong Dunbar


This book describes the lives of African American women in the urban north during the early years of the republic. It investigates how African American women in Philadelphia journeyed from enslavement to the precarious status of free persons in the decades leading up to the Civil War, and examines comparable developments in the cities of New York and Boston. Free of the many burdens of poverty, a handful of African American women in Philadelphia had the opportunity to engage in political and social activism, the most important of which was the antislavery movement, and would enter an arena of ... More

Keywords: Pennsylvania, antislavery, slavery, African American women, New York, Boston, social activism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780300125917
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300125917.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author