Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century

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9780253334466: Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century

"... an extraordinary and richly contextualized biography that highlights the engagement and agency of a little-known African American activist who challenged the obstacles gender and race posed for her." —The Journal of American History

"Rhodes provides a well-researched, balanced, clearly written assessment of the extraordinary life of this trailblazing African American feminist and reformer." —Choice

"In this book we see how a courageous and pugnacious journalist-activist fought arduously to attain freedom from male dominance and establish a model for future feminists." —Quill & Scroll

"Jane Rhodes' wonderful biography of Mary Ann Shadd Cary... is an insightful and moving portrait of a determined and resourceful Black woman who put all she had into ending slavery and securing full human rights for her people." —Darlene Clark Hine

"This is an excellent book. Not only does it illuminate the details of the life of a little-known journalist of considerable accomplishment, but it also contributes to the body of knowledge relevant to numerous other subject areas." —Rodger Streitmatter

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a courageous and outspoken 19th-century African American who used the press and public speaking to fight slavery and oppression in the United States and Canada. Her life provides a window on the free black experience, emergent black nationalisms, African Americans’ gender ideologies, and the formation of a black public sphere.

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Book Description:

Best Mass Communication History Book 1998, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass CommunicationA Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1999

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Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a courageous and outspoken nineteenth-century African American who used the press and public speaking to fight slavery and oppression in the United States and Canada. Part of the small free black elite who used their education and limited freedoms to fight for the end of slavery and racial oppression, Shadd Cary is best known as the first African American woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America. But her importance does not stop there. She was an active participant in many of the social and political movements that influenced the nineteenth century -- abolition, black emigration and nationalism, women's rights, and temperance. She emigrated in the 1850s to Canada, where she taught the children of fugitive slaves and founded a newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. During the Civil War, she recruited black troops for the Union Army, and in the midst of Reconstruction she entered law school at middle age to become the second black woman attorney in the nation. A vociferous advocate for women's place in the black public sphere as well as in national politics, she insisted on a role in black community politics both before and after the Civil War. Late in her life she also laid the ground-work for what would become the black women's club movement. Her life offers a window on the free black experience, emergent black nationalisms, African American gender ideologies, and the formation of a black public sphere.

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