Black politics and partisanship in 19th-century Boston

Boston College graduate Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, a historian of race, law, and politics in the 19th century, is the author of Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in 19th Century Boston (UNC Press, 2018). In this in-depth study, Bergeson-Lockwood demonstrates that party politics became the terrain upon which black Bostonians tested the promise of equality in America’s democracy. By the end of the 19th century, contends the author, it became clear that partisan politics offered little hope for the protection of black rights and lives in the face of white supremacy and racial violence. Even so, Bergeson-Lockwood shows how black Bostonians’ faith in self-reliance, political autonomy, and dedicated organizing inspired future generations of activists who would carry these legacies into the foundation of the 20th-century civil rights movement. Bergeson-Lockwood says he hope his book further expands the understanding of black urban activism and the relationship between racial and partisan politics. Bergeson-Lockwood also blogs for the University of North Carolina Press.

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