2 Responses

  1. kj
    kj / 3-23-2015 / ·

    David,
    Pushing farther — the question is not just why, but also how did they use color. And as a part of the answer I think you might want to consider more than just the way color connected with readers. Why was color so important to create a connection? To answer this question I think you need to be looking at the anti-abolitionist literature as well because here, blackness connotes savagery, subhuman identity. Whiteness was one way to make the slave a human being. Why was it necessary for the slave to be seen as human — because *that* is what allowed white Northerners to identify with the plight of the slave. Hope this makes some sense and it’s probably one of your assumptions, but I think it might be an idea worth articulating and problemmatizing.

  2. Paul Quigley
    Paul Quigley / 3-27-2015 / ·

    This sounds very good. I thought Dr Jones’ comment was spot on. Other things to consider: (1) Did they use color deliberately, as a propaganda technique, or simply because it reflected their own ideas and assumptions? (2) Was the specter of interracial sex always lurking in the background when they discussed and mobilized images of different shades of color? (3) Were there major differences on this point between different wings of the abolitionist movement?

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