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A Curse upon the Nation


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About the Author

Kay Wright Lewis is an assistant professor of history at Howard University.


Lewis draws from newspapers, political tracts, correspondence, and court documents to describe the perseverance of racialized fears from the early seventeenth century through the twentieth. The result is one of the first sustained studies about extermination as a historiographical approach to slavery and African American history. . . . Lewis's book is a welcome contribution to the scholarship on race and slavery, and a must-read for scholars of race.--Jessica Parr "Black Perspectives "
A deeply-researched and wide-ranging book that carefully unravels the ways in which racial violence shaped Atlantic and American history. Lewis's attention to the perspectives and fates of Africans and African Americans is particularly noteworthy, and her treatment of the transatlantic story in this context is especially intriguing in those chapters that venture beyond the United States and its colonial precursors.--David C. Atkinson "Diplomatic History "
This important volume offers an innovative, profound, and striking approach on the origins of racialized violence in the United States. . . .Wright Lewis' ideas are original, her prose is absorbing, and her contribution goes well beyond that of a simple historical study. It will serve to inform not only current historiographical debates but also public debates on the situation of African Americans in the United States today.--Manuel Barcia "Slavery & Abolition "
In this thought-provoking book, Lewis reminds readers of the violence inherent in American slavery and how it was deployed by white Americans to traumatize the enslaved so that they would never attempt to rebel against white authority. In this regard, her book is a powerful effort to challenge the paternalistic ideal espoused by defenders of slavery and by some historians who continue to use paternalism to understand American slavery.--W. Bryan Rommel-Ruiz "Journal of Southern History "
It will now be impossible to recount the history of race in America without taking into account Lewis's important contribution.--Stephen E. Maizlish "Civil War History "

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