Welcome to the After Slavery Virtual Textbook

After Slavery Reading List

Listed below you will find a number of reading lists that might be helpful in trying to understand the issues addressed in
the After Slavery learning units. We have also provided a PDF version of the reading list to download and print.


To turn the pages, just move your mouse over the edge of the page and click the arrow!


General Readings on Slavery, Emancipation & Its Aftermath

Freedman Reading


Anderson, Eric and Alfred A. Moss, Jr, eds. Facts of Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin

Berlin, Ira and Phillip Morgan, eds.Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas

Brown, Thomas J., ed. Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States

Camejo, Peter. Racism, Revolution, Reaction, 1861-1877

Du Bois, W. E. B. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

Edwards, Laura F. Gendered Strife and Confusion: the Political Culture of Reconstruction

Fitzgerald, Michael W. The Union League Movement in the Deep South: Politics and Agricultural Change during Reconstruction

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

_____. Nothing but Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy

Frey, Silvia and Betty Woods, eds. From Slavery to Emancipation in the Atlantic World

Genovese, Eugene. Roll Jordan Roll: the World the Slaves Made

Gillette, William. Retreat from Reconstruction, 1869-1879

Hahn, Steven. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration

_____. The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom

Litwack, Leon. Been in the Storm So Long: the Aftermath of Slavery

Mohr, Clarence. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia

Montgomery, David. Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872

O'Donovan, Susan E. Becoming Free in the Cotton South

Olsen, Otto, ed. Reconstruction and Redemption in the South

Perman, Michael. Reunion without Compromise: the South & Reconstruction, 1865-1868

Rabinowitz, Howard N. Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era

Richardson, Heather Cox. The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901

____. West From Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War

Rodrigue, John C. Reconstruction in the Cane Fields: From Slavery to Free Labor in Louisiana's Sugar Parishes, 1862-1880

Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction: the Port Royal Experiment

Saville, Julie. The Work of Reconstruction: From Slave to Wage Laborer in South Carolina, 1860-1870

Shachtman, Max. Race and Revolution: a Lost Chapter in American Radicalism, Christopher Phelps, ed.

Singletary, Otis. Negro Militia and Reconstruction

Trelease, Allen W. White Terror: the Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Reconstruction

Tunnell, Ted. Crucible of Reconstruction: War, Radicalism and Race in Louisiana, 1862-1877

Woodward, C. Vann. Reunion and Reaction; the Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction


Barkley Brown, Elsa. "Negotiating and Transforming the Public Sphere: African American Political Life in the Transition from Slavery to Freedom," Public Culture (Fall 1994), 107-46

Berlin, Ira. "Who Freed the Slaves? Emancipation and Its Meaning," in David W. Blight and Brooks D. Simpson, eds. Union & Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era, 105-122

_____. "Writing Freedom's History: The Destruction of Slavery,"Prologue 17:4 (Winter1985): 211-27

Callinicos, Alex. "Marxism and the Crisis in Social History," in John Rees, ed.Essays on Historical Materialism

Dunning, William A. "The Undoing of Reconstruction," in David H. Donald, ed. Essays on the Civil War and Reconstruction

Genovese, Eugene and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. "The Political Crisis of Social History: Class Struggle as Subject and Object," in Fruits of Merchant Capital, 179-212

Johnson, Walter. "On Agency," Journal of Social History 37 (Fall 2003): 113-124

Limerick, Patricia Nelson. "Has 'Minority History' Transformed the Historical Discourse?"Perspectives: Newsletter of the American Historical Association35:8 (Nov. 1997)

Miller, Steven et al. "Between Emancipation and Enfranchisement: Law and the Political Mobilization of Black Southerners, 1865-1867," Chicago-Kent Law Review70: 3 (1995): 1059-77

Novick, Peter. "Divergence and Dissent," in That Noble Dream: the 'Objectivity Question' and the American Historical Profession, 206-249

Oakes, James. "The Political Significance of Slave Resistance," History Workshop,22 (Autumn, 1986): 89-107

Robinson, Armstead L. "Beyond the Realm of Social Consensus: New Meanings of Reconstruction for American History," Journal of American History68:2 (Sept. 1981): 276-97

_____. "The Difference Freedom Made: the Emancipation of Afro-Americans," with comments from Eric Foner and Nell Painter, in Darlene Clark Hine, ed. The State of Afro-American History,51-88

Primary Source Materials & Comtemporary Accounts:


Andrews, Sidney. The South Since the War

Aptheker, Herbert. Documentary History of the Negro People of the United States,v. 1

Berlin, Ira et. al. Free at Last: a Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom and the Civil War

De Forest, J. W. A Union Officer in the Reconstruction

Dennett, John R. The South as It Is, 1865-1866

Hahn, Steven et. al. Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867: Series 3, Volume 1: Land and Labor, 1865

Harris, David Golightly. Piedmont Farmer: The Journals of David Golightly Harris, 1855-1870

Leigh, Frances Butler. Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation

Schurz, Carl. Report on the Condition of the South

Sterling, Dorothy, ed. The Trouble They Seen: Black People Tell the Story of Reconstruction

US Congress. Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy Report of the Joint Select Committee(13 vols.)

'Redemption' & Beyond: Race and Labor


Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: the Civil War in American Memory

Dailey, Jane. Before Jim Crow: the Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia

Daniel, Pete. The Shadow of Slavery: Peonage in the South, 1901-1969

Fitzgerald, Michael F. Urban Emancipation: Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860-1890

Hunter, Tera. To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War

Kousser, J. Morgan. The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restrictions and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880-1910

Lebsock, Suzanne. A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial

Lemann, Nicholas. Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War

Letwin, Daniel. The Challenge of Interracial Unionism: Alabama Coal Miners, 1878-1921

Lichtenstein, Alex. Twice the Work of Free Labor: the Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South

Mandle, Jay R. The Roots of Black Poverty: the Southern Plantation Economy after the Civil War

Montgomery, David. Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market during the Nineteenth Century

Ortiz, Paul. Emancipation Betrayed: the Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida

Rosengarten, Theodore. All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw

Tolnay, Stewart E. and E. M. Beck. A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930

Waldrep, Christopher. Roots of Disorder: Race and Criminal Justice in the American South, 1817-80

Williamson, Joel. The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South since Emancipation

Woodward, C, Vann. The Origins of the New South, 1877-1913

Articles, Reviews, Collections:


Arnesen, Eric, "Following the Color Line of Labor: Black Worker and the Labor Movement before 1930," Radical History Review 55 (1993): 53-87

_____, "Up from Exclusion: Black and White Workers, Race, and the State of Labor History," Reviews in American History 6:2 (March 1998): 146-174

_____, ed. The Black Worker: Race, Labor, and Civil Rights since Emancipation

Goodwyn, Lawrence C. "Populist Dreams and Negro Rights: East Texas as a Case Study," American Historical Review 76 (December 1971), 1435-56

Halpern, Rick, "Organized Labor, Black Workers, and the Twentieth-Century South: the Emerging Revision," in Melvyn Stokes and Halpern, eds. Race and Class in the American South since 1890, 43-76

Green, James R. and Paul B. Worthman, "Black Workers in the New South, 1865-1915," in Nathan I. Huggins, ed. Key Issues in the Afro-American Experience, 47-69

Guterl, Matthew P. "After Slavery: Asian Labor, the American South, and the Age of Emancipation," Journal of World History 14:2 (June 2003): 209-242

Lichtenstein, Alex. "Racial Conflict and Racial Solidarity in the Alabama Coal Strike of 1894: New Evidence for the Gutman-Hill Debate," Labor History 36 (Winter 1995): 63-76

Payne, Charles M. and Adam Green, eds. Time Longer than Rope: a Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950

Painter, Nell Irvin. " 'Social Equality,' Miscegenation, Labor and Power," in Numan V. Bartley, ed. The Evolution of Southern Culture 47-67


Primary Source Materials & Comtemporary Accounts:


Lewis, R. and Phillip Foner, eds. The Black Worker: a Documentary History from Colonial Times to the Present,vols. 1 and 2

Reconstruction & 'Redemption' in the Carolinas


Alexander, Roberta S. North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations during Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67

Allen, Walter. Governor Chamberlain's Administration in South Carolina

Baker, Bruce. What Reconstruction Meant: Social Memory of Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1890-1957

Cecelski, David S. The Waterman's Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina

Click, Patricia. Time Full of Trial: the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony, 1862-1867

Cooper, William J. The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890

Drago, Edmund L. Hurrah for Hampton: Black Red Shirts in South Carolina during Reconstruction

Edmonds, Helen G. The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina, 1894-1901

Hall, Jacqueline et al. Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World

Hadden, Sally E. Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas

Haley, John H. Charles N. Hunter and Race Relations in North Carolina

Holden, Charles J. In the Great Maelstrom: Conservatives in Post-Civil War South Carolina

Holt, Sharon Ann. Making Freedom Pay: North Carolina Freedpeople Working for Themselves, 1864-1900

Holt, Thomas. Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction

Kantrowitz, Stephen. Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy

Logan, Frenise A. The Negro in North Carolina, 1876-1894

McKinney, Gordon B. Southern Mountain Republicans, 1865-1900: Politics and the Appalachian Community

Mobley, Joe A. James City, A Black Community in North Carolina, 1863-1900

Nelson, Scott. Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction

Powers, Bernard E. Jr. Black Charlestonians: a Social History, 1822-1885

Simkins, Francis B. Pitchfork Ben Tillman, South Carolinian

_____ and Robert H. Woody, South Carolina during Reconstruction

Tindall, George B. South Carolina Negroes, 1877-1900

Williamson, Joel. After Slavery: the Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Zuczek, Richard. State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina

Articles, Reviews, Collections:


Baker, Bruce. "The 'Hoover Scare' in South Carolina, 1887: an Attempt to Organize Black Farm Labor," Labor History 40:3 (August 1999): 261-82

Cecelski, David S. and Timothy B. Tyson,. eds. Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy

Crow, Jeffrey J. "'Fusion, Confusion, and Negroism': Schisms Among Negro Republicans in the North Carolina Election of 1896." North Carolina Historical Review 53:4 (1976): 364-384.

Hine, William C. "Black Organized Labor in Reconstruction Charleston," Labor History 25 (1984): 504-517

Kelly, Brian. "Black Laborers, the Republican Party and the Crisis of Reconstruction in Lowcountry South Carolina," International Review of Social History 51:3 (Dec. 2006): 375-414

_____. "Labor and Place: The Contours of Grassroots Black Mobilization in Reconstruction South Carolina," Journal of Peasant Studies 35: 4 (October 2008): 653-687.

_____. "Emancipations and Reversals: Labor, Race and the Boundaries of American Freedom in the Age of Capital," International Labor and Working Class History75: 1 (Spring 2009): 1-15.

Kirshenbaum, Andrea Meryl. "'The Vampire That Hovers Over North Carolina': Gender, White Supremacy, and the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898." Southern Cultures 4:3 (1998): 6-30

Kremm, Thomas W. and Diane Neal. "Challenges to Subordination: Organized Black Agrarian Protest in South Carolina, 1886-1895," South Atlantic Quarterly 77:1 (1978): 98-112

Lockley, T. "Review of Olwell's Masters, Slaves and Subjects: The Culture of Power in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1740-1790and Jenkins' Seizing the New Day: African Americans in Post-Civil War Charleston," Labor History (May 1999)

Mabry, William Alexander.

_____. "Negro Suffrage and Fusion Rule in North Carolina." North Carolina Historical Review 12 (April 1935): 79-102

Morgan, Philip. "Work and Culture: the Task System and the World of Lowcountry Blacks, 1700-1880," William and Mary Quarterly, 39:4 (Oct. 1982), 563-599.

Strickland, John C. "Traditional Culture and Moral Economy: Social and Economic Change in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1865-1910," in Steven Hahn and Jonathan Prude, eds. The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation

Saville, Julie. "Grassroots Reconstruction: Agricultural Laborers and Collective Action in South Carolina, 1860-1868," Slavery and Abolition12:3 (Dec. 1991): 173-82

Schwalm, Leslie A. "'Sweet Dreams of Freedom': Freedwomen's Reconstruction of Life and Labor in Lowcountry South Carolina," Journal of Women's History 9:1 (Spring 1997) 9-39

Tindall, George B. "The Campaign for the Disfranchisement of Negroes in South Carolina," Journal of Southern History15:2 (May 1949): 212-34

Primary Source Materials & Contemporary Accounts:


Moore, John Hamond, ed. The Juhl Letters to the Charleston Courier: a View of the South, 1865-1871

Pike, James S.The Prostrate State: South Carolina under Negro Government

Towles, Louis P. ed. The World Turned Upside Down: the Palmers of Santee, 1818-1881

Towne, Laura. Letters and Diaries of Laura M. Towne; Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 1862-1884

Williams, Alfred B. Hampton and His Red Shirts: South Carolina’s Deliverance in 1876

Black Political Mobilization & Demobilization


Cell, John W. The Highest Stage of White Supremacy: Origins of White Supremacy in South Africa and the American South

Gaines, Kevin K. Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century

Gordon, Fon Louise. Caste and Class: the Black Experience in Arkansas, 1880-1920

Harlan, Louis B. Booker T. Washington(2 vols.)

Haley, John H. Charles N. Hunter and Race Relations in North Carolina

Litwack, Leon. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow

Logan, Rayford W. The Betrayal of the Negro: from Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson

McMillen, Neil. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow

Meier, August. Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915

Smith, John David. Black Judas: a Story of Racial Self-Hatred in America

Verney, Kevern. The Art of the Possible: Booker T. Washington and Black Leadership in the United States, 1881-1925

Wharton, Vernon Lane. The Negro in Mississippi, 1865-1890

White, Deborah Gray. Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1884-1994


Articles, Reviews, Collections:

Calista, Donald J. "Booker T. Washington: Another Look," Journal of Negro History 49:4 (Oct. 1964): 240-255

Cox, Oliver C. "Leadership among Negroes in the United States," in Alvin W. Goulder, ed. Studies in Leadership: Leadership and Democratic Action, 228-271

_____, "The Leadership of Booker T. Washington," Social Forces30 (1951): 91-97

Kelly, Brian. "Black Elites Confront the 'Rabid Faction': Booker T. Washington, Industrial Accommodation, and the Labor Question in the Jim Crow South," in Eric Arnesen, ed. he Black Worker: Race and Labor Activism since Emancipation

_____. "Review of Steven Hahn's A Nation under Our Feet,' Labor: Studies in the Working-Class History of the Americas3 (Fall 2004): 145-47

Lichtenstein, Alex. "Roots of Black Nationalism?," American Quarterly 57:1 (2005) 261-269

Meier, August. "Negro Class Structure and Ideology in the Age of Booker T. Washington," Phylon 23 (Fall 1962): 258-66

Reed, Adolph Jr. "Romancing Jim Crow," in Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene, 14-24

Stein, Judith. "'Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others': the Political Economy of Racism in the United States," Science and Society 38:4 (Winter 1974-5): 422-53

Walker, Clarence E. Deromanticizing Black History: Critical Essays and Reappraisals


Primary Source Materials & Contemporary Accounts

Fortune, Timothy Thomas. Black and White: Land, Labor and Politics in the South

Thomas, William Hannibal. Land and Labor

This ends the Recommended Reading List.


Click here to download this list as a PDF file.