Civilization and Its Discontents: Black Life in the Eighteenth-Century Cities of British North America

  • Rhett Jones


Writing at the end of the Prologue to his book, Berlin observes, “It is important to remember at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when this book concludes, the vast majority of black people did not reside in the blackbelt, grow cotton, or subscribe to Christianity.”1 African American life in the two centuries preceding the 1800s was different from that in the nineteenth century. Yet there has been a decided tendency, on the part of interested readers as well as professional historians, to read the contours of nineteenth-century black life back into the eighteenth century, and to therefore see black life in the two centuries as much the same. In fact, as Berlin shows, eighteenth-century African Americans were different from their nineteenth-century descendants.


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Copyright information

© Gayle T. Tate and Lewis A. Randolph 2006

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  • Rhett Jones

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