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Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South$
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Kimberly M. Welch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636436

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636436.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Telling Stories

Telling Stories

(p.27) 1 Telling Stories
Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South

Kimberly M. Welch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how black litigants in the antebellum U.S. South learned to tell legal stories. It follows three cases in which litigants mediated and navigated slavery and its attendant concepts about race through contested narratives told in legal settings. The exploration of how black litigants seized upon narrative structures, how they constructed competing narratives, and how opponents challenged the meanings of those stories illuminates a far more complex legal culture of slavery than any straightforward story of domination and subordination.

Keywords:   Story Telling, Civil Rights, Citizenship, Personhood, Language

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