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Emergence of African American Cultures

Servant Quarters, Middleburg from African Americans on Southern Plantations"
The spirit of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s inspired archaeologists, like Charles Fairbanks, to probe beneath the ground for a deeper understanding of slavery and the creation of African-American cultures. Heading to the heart of the southern plantation--its slave quarters--Fairbanks began to write the story of the work and lives of enslaved Africans. The story emphasized enslaved people drawing upon their African heritage to make their way in a new, and for them, especially difficult world.

A decade later, other archaeologists like Leland Ferguson were drawn to the task, bringing a humanistic perspective to an historical archaeology increasingly devoted to a scientific view of the world. Ferguson and a younger generation of scholars like Terry Weik continue to help us see and come to terms with the pain, inhumanity, and the creative cultural power intertwined in the institution of slavery. Their task has led them to plantations across the South, to colonial cities like Annapolis, New York, Charleston, and St. Augustine, and to the maroon communities built by escaped captives.

Projects in the Book

(Click on bold link to view an excerpt)
Leland Ferguson – African Americans on Southern Plantations
Terrance Weik - Black Seminole Freedom Fighters on the Florida Frontier
Sidebar 5: Fort Mose, St. Augustine, Florida - Lu Ann De Cunzo

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