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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Erica L. Ball
Affiliation:
Occidental College, Los Angeles
Tatiana Seijas
Affiliation:
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Terri L. Snyder
Affiliation:
California State University, Fullerton
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Summary

As If She Were Free is about the emancipatory acts of African and African-descended women in the Americas from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century. The stories of some two dozen individuals discussed in these chapters constitute a collective biography that narrates the history of emancipation as experienced by women in the western hemisphere. This history began upon the arrival of enslaved people from Africa in the Americas in the early sixteenth century and continued into the twentieth century as their descendants pursued an ongoing quest for liberty. As If She Were Free narrates this individual and collective struggle – in which African-descended women spoke and acted in ways that declared that they had a right to determine the course of their lives. This book, a collective biography of women who renounced their commodification and exploitation, articulates a new feminist history of freedom.

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As If She Were Free
A Collective Biography of Women and Emancipation in the Americas
, pp. 1 - 24
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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