On Thursday, April 15, 2021, Dr. Martha S. Jones will join LancasterHistory virtually to tell the fascinating story of how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans.
Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. Martha S. Jones’ recent book Birthright Citizens recovers the story of how African American activists remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses. They faced formidable opposition, most notoriously from the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. Still, no single case defined their status. Former slaves studied law, secured allies, and conducted themselves like citizens, establishing their status through local, everyday claims. All along they argued that birth guaranteed their rights.
With fresh archival sources and an ambitious reframing of constitutional law-making before the Civil War, Jones will show how the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionalized the birthright principle, fulfilling the long-held aspirations of African Americans.
Martha S. Jones, Ph.D. is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and Co-President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. She is the author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018) and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture (2007), and an editor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (2015.)
This event will take place online via Zoom on April 15, 2021 at 7pm Eastern. This is NOT an in-person event.
The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration. Register online by clicking “Get Tickets” below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Your link to the Zoom event will be emailed to you upon successful registration. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, we highly recommend reading our Virtual Event Guide & FAQ in advance the of the event.
Phone: (717) 392-4633
230 N President Ave
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603