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The African American in Civil War Humor

The African American in Civil War Humor

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter Four The African American in Civil War Humor
Source:
Civil War Humor
Author(s):
Cameron C. Nickels
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737479.003.0005

This chapter discusses portrayals of African Americans in Civil War humor. Two events forced a serious rethinking of African Americans’ their place in the political, economic, and social life of the North—in the ultimately “united states,” which was, after all, the Union cause for taking up arms. The first event was the official designation of blacks as “contrabands” in 1861, slaves who crossed Union lines; the second was that section of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 authorizing the recruitment of black soldiers.

Keywords:   Civil War, humor, African Americans, Confederates, Union, blacks, slaves, contrabands, Emancipation Proclamation

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