Added: October 25, 2008 – Last updated: February 4, 2017


Author: Hannah Rosen

Title: Terror in the Heart of Freedom

Subtitle: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South

Place: Chapel Hill, NC

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press

Year: 2009

Pages: 407pp.

Series: Gender and American Culture

ISBN-13: 9780807832028 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780807858820 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century | American History: U.S. History | Types: Interracial Rape



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Author: Hannah Rosen, American Studies Program, College of William & Mary


  Introduction (p. 1)
    Rape, Race, and the Law (p. 9)
    Reconstruction's Politics of Citizenship and Suffrage (p. 11)
  Part One. A City of Refuge: Emancipation in Memphis, 1862–1866
  Chapter One. City Streets and Other Public Spaces (p. 23)
    Urban Spaces, Racial Meanings, and Contests over Rule (p. 27)
    "Riot of Crime in Our Midst" (p. 40)
    African American Men in the Army of Occupation (p. 44)
    Freedwomen in Public (p. 49)
  Chapter Two. A Riot and Massacre (p. 61)
    The Gendered Meanings of a "Race Riot" (p. 63)
    Freedwomen Testify (p. 75)
  Part Two. A State of Mobilization: Politics in Arkansas, 1865–1868
  Chapter Three. The Capitol and Other Public Spheres (p. 87)
    The Boundaries of Political Community in Antebellum Arkansas (p. 89)
    Laying Claim to Citizenship: African Americans in the Public Sphere in Postemancipation Arkansas (p. 98)
    The Gendered Language of Conservative Politics (p. 119)
  Chapter Four. A Constitutional Convention (p. 133)
    The Rhetoric of Miscegenation and the Reconstruction of Race (p. 137)
    Citizenship and Suffrage (p. 144)
    Sex and Marriage (p. 146)
    "Let Us Build a Wall" (p. 150)
    "A Place among Men" (p. 159)
    The Shadow Cast by Miscegenation (p. 169)
  Part Three. A Region of Terror: Violence in the South, 1865–1876
  Chapter Five. Houses, Yards, and Other Domestic Domains (p. 179)
    The Domestic Stage of Political Violence (p. 183)
    Rumors of Miscegenation and White Representations of Violence (p.194)
    The Performance of Rape (p. 202)
  Chapter Six. Testifying to Violence (p. 222)
    Counternarratives of Rape (p. 226)
    Reconstruction's End and the Refutation of Freedwomen's Testimony (p. 235)
  Notes (p. 243)
  Bibliography (p. 355)
    Primary Sources (p. 355)
      Manuscript Collections (p. 355)
      Newspapers (p. 356)
      Other Published Primary Sources (p. 357)
    Secondary Sources (p. 359)
  Acknowledgments (p. 381)
  Index (p. 385)

Description: »The meaning of race in the antebellum southern United States was anchored in the racial exclusivity of slavery (coded as black) and full citizenship (coded as white as well as male). These traditional definitions of race were radically disrupted after emancipation, when citizenship was granted to all persons born in the United States and suffrage was extended to all men. Hannah Rosen persuasively argues that in this critical moment of Reconstruction, contests over the future meaning of race were often fought on the terrain of gender.
Sexual violence--specifically, white-on-black rape--emerged as a critical arena in postemancipation struggles over African American citizenship. Analyzing the testimony of rape survivors, Rosen finds that white men often staged elaborate attacks meant to enact prior racial hierarchy. Through their testimony, black women defiantly rejected such hierarchy and claimed their new and equal rights. Rosen explains how heated debates over interracial marriage were also attempts by whites to undermine African American men's demands for suffrage and a voice in public affairs. By connecting histories of rape and discourses of "social equality" with struggles over citizenship, Rosen shows how gendered violence and gendered rhetorics of race together produced a climate of terror for black men and women seeking to exercise their new rights as citizens. Linking political events at the city, state, and regional levels, Rosen places gender and sexual violence at the heart of understanding the reconsolidation of race and racism in the postemancipation United States.« (Source: University of North Carolina Press)


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Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1865–1918)