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February 21, 2023
9780813196152
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1.6 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
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February 21, 2023
9780813196169
9780813196152
English
380
16 b&w illustrations
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$30.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
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February 21, 2023
9780813196176
9780813196152
English
380
16 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$20.00 USD, £14.50 GBP
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February 21, 2023
9780813197111
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1.23 Pounds (US)
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Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State

Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home

Edited by Gerald L. Smith
Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home" has been designated as the official state song and performed at the Kentucky Derby for decades. In light of the ongoing social justice movement to end racial inequality, many have questioned whether the song should be played at public events, given its inaccurate depiction of slavery in the state.

In Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State, editor Gerald L. Smith presents a collection of powerful essays that uncover the long-forgotten stories of pain, protest, and perseverance of African Americans in Kentucky. Using the song and the museum site of My Old Kentucky Home as a central motif, the chapters move beyond historical myths to bring into sharper focus the many nuances of Black life. Chronologically arranged, they present fresh insights on topics such as the domestic slave trade, Black Shakers, rebellion and racial violence prior to the Civil War, Reconstruction, the fortitude of Black women as they pressed for political and educational equality, the intersection of race and sports, and the controversy over a historic monument.

Taken as a whole, this groundbreaking collection introduces readers to the strategies African Americans cultivated to negotiate race and place within the context of a border state. Ultimately, the book gives voice to the thoughts, desires, and sacrifices of generations of African Americans whose stories have been buried in the past.

About the Author

Gerald L. Smith is professor of history at the University of Kentucky and pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington. He has written extensively on the Black experience in Kentucky and is the author, editor, or coeditor of five books, including the award-winning Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.

Reviews

"The splendid essays in Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State are most timely as we ponder how to remedy the racial injustices, misuses of history, and myths identified with the song 'My Old Kentucky Home.' Focusing on the racial tensions that have long plagued interactions between Blacks and Whites in Kentucky and in the nation at large, this collection is a heartfelt manifesto, a reckoning, for truth and respect in race relations and in history. Collectively the contributions offer a beacon of hope and change for racial equality in deed as well as in word."—John David Smith, coeditor of The Long Civil War:  New Explorations of America's Enduring Conflict

"The contributors to this volume seek to recover the experiences of enslaved Kentuckians and their descendants—many of which have been erased, deliberately obscured, or sometimes even literally paved over in today's memorial landscape—and to place them at the center of the state's history. The result is an innovative, imaginative, and important book chronicling the struggles and achievements of Kentucky African Americans over two centuries."—Anne E. Marshall, author of Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State

"Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State: Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home is history that matters. Smith's collection of superb scholarship on slavery, freedom, and civil rights is a crucial consideration of Black Kentuckians' centrality in shaping the history of the Bluegrass. It is an essential chronicle of Black life and humanity."—Luther Adams – Free Man of Color, author of Way Up North in Louisville

"Smith's scholarly compilation of melting pot–like perspectives on Kentucky's almost sacred-like state song tosses aside its shibboleths and casts more illuminating light on the song's contentious interpretations. A bodacious work."—William H. Turner, author of The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns

"Over the years, Kentucky's African American experience has been woefully ignored. Through his various works and efforts, Gerald Smith has been changing that narrative, and the contributors to this excellent, pathbreaking volume reflect that same spirit of inquiry, deep research, and fresh insights—from modern-day issues to exposing the false facade in the song 'My Old Kentucky Home.' Here the buried past of Black Kentuckians is reexamined, as old myths are debunked, and new accounts are now told. This work will cause me to revise my own writing, and it should be read by all who are interested in the state's history."—James C. Klotter, State Historian of Kentucky and author, coauthor, or editor of more than twenty books, including A New History of Kentucky, Second Edition (coauthored with Craig Thompson Friend)

"This volume reveals the profound racial limits of 'My Old Kentucky Home' as an iconic song and idea in the minds and hearts of most white Kentuckians and offers fresh new understandings of the ongoing African American fight (both inter- and intra-racial) for citizenship, freedom, and democracy. As such, this book suggests a model for activists, historians, and policy makers seeking a new history that is appropriate for the expanding postindustrial age among the other states of our fragile union."—Joe William Trotter Jr., author of Pittsburgh and the Urban League Movement: A Century of Social Service and Activism

9780813196152 : slavery-and-freedom-in-the-bluegrass-state-smith
Hardback
February 21, 2023
$30.00 USD
9780813196169 : slavery-and-freedom-in-the-bluegrass-state-smith
Electronic book text
February 21, 2023
$30.00 USD
9780813196176 : slavery-and-freedom-in-the-bluegrass-state-smith
Electronic book text
February 21, 2023
$20.00 USD
9780813197111 : slavery-and-freedom-in-the-bluegrass-state-smith
Paperback / softback
February 21, 2023
$20.00 USD

Other Titles by Gerald L. Smith

A Black Educator in the Segregated South

Gerald L. Smith
Mar 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia

edited by Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, John A. Hardin
Aug 2015 - University Press of Kentucky
$39.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text

Bluegrass Renaissance

edited by James C. Klotter, Daniel Rowland, with contributions byStephen Aron, Shearer Davis Bowman, Gerald L. Smith, Randolph Hollingsworth, Maryjean Wall, Mark V. Wetherington, John Thelin, Tom Eblen, Mollie Eblen, Matthew Clarke, Est...
Aug 2012 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / African American Studies

The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky

Lowell H. Harrison
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

The Holy Profane

Teresa L. Reed
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$20.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Bound to the Fire

Kelley Fanto Deetz
Jan 2024 - University Press of Kentucky
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$24.95 USD - Electronic book text