Browse

Amistad Africans on the Abolitionist Stage

Cited 0 time in Web of Science Cited 0 time in Scopus
Authors
Woo, Jewon
Issue Date
2011
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.34 No.2, pp. 197-237
Keywords
The Amistad revoltAmerican albolitionismPerformanceWhite spectatorshipPerformative blackness
Abstract
Between the Amistad revolt in 1839 and their departure to the African home in 1841, the Amistad Africans became well known to their contemporary Americans in the vortex of the American antislavery movements. Abolitionists commonly exhibited ex-slaves at antislavery meetings to arouse the public’s sentiments for enslaved blacks. To antebellum Americans in the North, the Amistad Africans on the abolitionist stage were also introduced as the living evidence of the black race’s humanity that justified their right to freedom. In this theatrical setting of being seen by and seeing each other, while (white) observers tried to regulate the Africans’ bodies by imposing white-Protestant values and racist images on them, the Africans disproved this regulation by performatively demonstrating their unruly black bodies. This theatrical reciprocity among abolitionists, observers, and the Amistad Africans illustrates how they dynamically attended the social construction of blackness in antebellum America. American abolitionists manufactured the political and cultural significances of the Africans to provide a model of the black man who would be a heroic revolutionary and a pious Christian. Regardless of the abolitionists’ project on the Africans, observers did often not conceal their fear of slave insurrection and wanted to affirm their control over blackpeople by demanding racial stereotypes in the Africans’ performance. Slipping away from both the abolitionists’ instructions and the observers’ demands for particular performances, the Amistad Africans displayed their performative bodies that discouraged these Americans’ attempts to inscribe them any ideological symbols.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88685
Files in This Item:
Appears in Collections:
Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 34 Number 1/2 (2011)
  • mendeley

Items in S-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Browse