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Presented By: William L. Clements Library

The Clements Bookworm: African American Children in the Antebellum North

Author Conversation with Crystal Lynn Webster

Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021) Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021)
Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021)
In her new book “Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North,” Dr. Crystal Webster argues that young African Americans were frequently left outside the 19th century's emerging constructions of both race and childhood. They were marginalized in the development of schooling, ignored in debates over child labor, and presumed to lack the inherent innocence ascribed to white children. Drawing evidence from the urban centers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, Webster's innovative research yields a powerful new history of African American childhood before the Civil War, showing that Black children nevertheless carved out physical and social space for play, for learning, and for their own aspirations.

Dr. Webster joins us in conversation with Clements Library Director Paul Erickson. This episode coincides with the celebration of Juneteenth and a growing national recognition of understudied histories and experiences of African Americans in the past.

Register at myumi.ch/gjgzR

This episode of the Bookworm is generously sponsored by an anonymous Clements Supporter.

The Clements Bookworm is a webinar series in which panelists and featured guests discuss history topics. Recommended books, articles, and other resources are provided in each session. Inspired by the traditional Clements Library researcher tea time, we invite you to pull up a chair at our [virtual] table. Live attendees are encouraged to post comments and questions, respond to polls, and add to our conversation and camaraderie.
Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021) Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021)
Book Cover, "Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood" (2021)
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