Combating Attempts of Elision: African American Accomplishments at New Philadelphia, Illinois
This chapter examines the ways in which individuals negotiated the complex terrain of past landscapes that were impacted by the institution of slavery and racial ideologies. Present perspectives on such past dynamics are shaped by related concepts of heritage and history. A particular social group’s construction of their cultural heritage often entails a selective emphasis on specific subjects within their history. This selective process of heritage construction includes instances of elision and omission as well as those of remembrance and commemoration. In particular, within their histories, some social groups have undertaken efforts to effect an erasure of the accomplishments and self-determination of others in the context of racial strife and deployment of racial ideologies.
These dynamics are manifest in the accomplishments of Frank McWorter, an individual born into slavery in the United States in 1777, who succeeded in attaining freedom for himself and his family (Walker 1983)....
KeywordsCultural Heritage Oral History African American Family National Park Service Railroad Company
Some of the research results presented here are based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers 0353550 and 0752834. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. I am also very grateful for generous funding support of the University of Illinois Research Board.
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