This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to examine the impact of emancipation on the northernmost reaches of the Mississippi valley, in the states of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The book shows that the transition to black citizenship involved the hotly contested politics of black enfranchisement, but also an extensive and persistent series of collisions over segregation, civil rights, and the more informal politics of race—including how slavery and emancipation would be remembered and commemorated.
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