Racial Justice: Complicity in the Making of Race-Based Slavery

Complicity in the Making of Race-Based  Slavery:

From Roger Williams to the Cotton Kingdom

 

Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara

Sunday, January 10
2-3:30pm Central

Online ~ To register, click here


The history of race-based slavery in America reveals the complicity of its core institutions—including its Churches and most prominent ministers. Yet, the history of the making of race in America remains unacknowledged, leaving us with a bevy questions: Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America, especially among white and Black Americans? How and why did Blackness and slavery become synonymous? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery in America? These are a few of the questions Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara will explore in her presentation.  Opportunities for question and answer will follow the presentation.


Christy Clark-Pujara is an Associate Professor of History in the Department Afro-American Studies and Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; she is also the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Afro-American Studies. She received her B.A. in History and Social Science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and her M.A. and  PhD in History from the University of Iowa—Iowa City. Her research focuses on the experiences of black people in British and French North America in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. She is particularly interested in retrieving the hidden and unexplored histories of African Americans in areas that historians have not sufficiently examined—small towns and cities in the North and Midwest. She contends that the full dimensions of the African American and American experience cannot be appreciated without reference to how black people managed their lives in places where they were few. An absence of a large black populace did not mean that ideas of blackness were not central to the social, political, and economic development of these places.

Her first book Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (NYU Press, 2016), examines how the business of slavery—economic activity that was directly related to the maintenance of slaveholding in the Americas, specifically the buying and selling of people, food, and goods—shaped the experience of slavery, the process of emancipation, and the realities of black freedom in Rhode Island from the colonial period through the American Civil War. Her current book project, Black on the Midwestern Frontier: From Slavery to Suffrage in the Wisconsin Territory, 1725—1868, examines how the practice of race-based slavery, black settlement, and debates over abolition and black rights shaped white-black race relations in the Midwest. Clark-Pujara is the author of several journal articles, most recently “In Need of Care: African American Families Transform the Providence Association for the Benefit of Colored Orphans during the Final Collapse of Slavery, 1839-1846,” Journal of Family History (September 2019).

Clark-Pujara was recently awarded the UW-Madison Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award and the UW-Madison Outstanding Woman of Color Award 2020, Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award, and the Feminist Scholar’s Fellowship from the UW-Madison Center for Research on Gender and Women in 2019 and the Honored Instructor Award from University Housing in 2020.