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Over 50 essays by many of the state’s leading historians document the long arc of the African American experience in Connecticut from the earliest years of the state’s colonization around 1630 and continuing well into the 20th century. The voice of Connecticut’s African Americans rings clear through topics such as the Black Governors of Connecticut, nationally prominent black abolitionists like the reverends Amos Beman and James Pennington, the African American community’s response to the Amistad trial, the letters of Joseph O. Cross of the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and the Civil Rights work of baseball great Jackie Robinson (a twenty-year resident of Stamford), to name a few.

Insightful introductions to each section explore broader issues faced by the state’s African American residents as they struggled for full rights as citizens. 

Contributors include Billie M. Anthony, Christopher Baker, Whitney Bayers, Barbara Beeching, Andra Chantim, Stacey K. Close, Jessica Colebrook, Christopher Collier, Hildegard Cummings, Barbara Donahue, Mary M. Donohue, Nancy Finlay, Jessica A. Gresko, Katherine J. Harris, Charles (Ben) Hawley, Peter Hinks, Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Eileen Hurst, Dawn Byron Hutchins, Carolyn B. Ivanoff, Joan Jacobs, Mark H. Jones, Joel Lang, Melonae’ McLean, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Hilary Moss, Cora Murray, Elizabeth J. Normen, Elisabeth Petry, Cynthia Reik, Ann Y. Smith, John Wood Sweet, Charles A. Teale Sr., Barbara M. Tucker, Tamara Verrett, Liz Warner, David O. White, and Yohuru Williams.

African American Connecticut Explored is an ambitious and important book that covers the broad arc of Connecticut’s African American history from the colonial era through the mid-twentieth century. This is a welcomed addition to early African Americana.”—Erica Armstrong Dunbar, associate professor of black American studies and history, University of Delaware

“This is the first publication that brings the entire arc of Connecticut African American history together in a single volume based on serious scholarship and a comprehensive, social history-oriented perspective. It is a rich compendium of information and insight.”—Jeremy Brecher, former humanities scholar-in-residence at Connecticut Public Broadcasting

Published by Wesleyan University Press, this book represents the collaborative effort of Connecticut Explored and the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, with support from the State Historic Preservation Office and Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. It will be a valuable guide for anyone interested in this fascinating area of Connecticut’s history.

$40.00 hardcover; $31.00 e-book. Available January 2014

Save 30% on print editions when you order from Wesleyan University Press’s secure web site and use discount code W301.