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Illusions of EmancipationThe Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery$
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Joseph P. Reidy

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469648361

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648361.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. 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 May 2022

The Home of the Brave

The Home of the Brave

(p.303) Chapter 9 The Home of the Brave
Illusions of Emancipation

Joseph P. Reidy

University of North Carolina Press

The end of slavery reverberated through the North no less than the South. From the start of the war, black leaders in the free states had hoped to complete the uneven process of gradual emancipation that had been unfolding there since the Revolutionary War. They foresaw an end to the discriminatory laws and practices that compromised their citizenship and denied the elective franchise to most Northern black men. When the War Department began enlisting black soldiers, recruits soon encountered discrimination in the army and began to protest. Meanwhile, their families and other supporters at home leveraged the men's service to challenge all distinctions based on color, notably the practice of segregated streetcars in the cities. Several months before the war ended, black leaders resuscitated the antebellum national convention movement, and black communities across the North and in Union-occupied areas of the Confederacy selected delegates to participate in setting a national agenda for completing the abolition of slavery and extending all the rights of citizenship to black persons, North and South.

Keywords:   gradual emancipation, discriminatory laws, citizenship, elective franchise, black soldiers, segregated streetcars, national convention movement, abolition, rights of citizenship

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