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Carole Emberton
SUNY Research Foundation, University at Buffalo (Amherst, NY 14228-2577)
An Intimate History of Freedom: The Biography of Emancipated Slave Priscilla Joyner

Writing leading to the publication of a book about the experience of emancipated American slaves told primarily through the life of former slave Priscilla Joyner.

My project is a study of American slave emancipation told primarily through the life of one woman. The Emancipation of Priscilla Joyner immerses readers in the everyday life of its subject, and from that experience asks new questions about the transition from slavery to freedom. How did newly freed people make sense of the tumultuous changes that accompanied emancipation in their daily lives? How did the meaning of freedom vary from person to person? My book moves beyond current histories of American emancipation that focus on struggles for civil and political rights, revealing that freedom was not a single, momentary event, but rather an extended process that took place within the self as well as at ballot boxes, courthouses, and cotton fields.

Project fields:
African American History; U.S. History

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019