In this collaborative work, three leading historians explore one of
the most significant areas of inquiry in modern historiography--the
transition from slavery to freedom and what this transition meant
for former slaves, former slaveowners, and the societies in which
they lived. Their contributions take us beyond the familiar
portrait of emancipation as the end of an evil system to consider
the questions and the struggles that emerged in freedom's wake.
Thomas Holt focuses on emancipation in Jamaica and the contested
meaning of citizenship in defining and redefining the concept of
freedom; Rebecca Scott investigates the complex struggles and
cross-racial alliances that evolved in southern Louisiana and Cuba
after the end of slavery; and Frederick Cooper examines the
intersection of emancipation and imperialism in French West Africa.
In their introduction, the authors address issues of citizenship,
labor, and race, in the post-emancipation period and they point the
way toward a fuller understanding of the meanings of freedom.