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University of South Alabama, B.A., History and Anthropology, 2004; University of Vermont, M.A., History, 2009.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar
“Traveling the British Atlantic World: Free Women of African Descent and Emancipation in the Black Atlantic, 1770-1865”
This dissertation focuses on free women of African descent in the British Atlantic World between the years 1770 and 1865. This project explores the social, political, and economic realities for free women of African descent and I plan to investigate the ways in which these women defined and demonstrated their freedom in public and private ways. While I focus upon the ways in which free black women positioned themselves in British Atlantic World societies, I am specifically interested in their own definitions of race, class, color, or free status. Further, I examines the importance of mobility and travel within the lives of free women of African descent, which allowed free black women to dispel myths and assumptions, challenge societal norms, and create opportunities for themselves as women and as people of African descent. This project seeks to determine whether free black women gained a greater or lesser sense of their positions within a broad diaspora of African people within the British Atlantic World.