Aoki Center/HistoryDepartment Collaboration - The Free People of Color Lecture Series: Chris Bonner "An Integral Portion of this Republic"

An Integral Portion of this Republic - Prof. Christopher Bonner, University of Maryland This talk explores the ways free black northerners used citizenship to protest their disfranchisement. Focusing largely on the struggle for voting rights in New York, I also examine efforts of activists in that state to connect with others across the North who faced similar restrictions. Together, these black Americans argued that their contributions to their communities made them citizens, and that citizenship must entail formal political rights. The chapter explores questions about the construction of citizen status as well as its uncertain relation to other ideals including freedom and equality. Christopher Bonner teaches African American history at the University of Maryland, College Park. He published his first book, Remaking the Republic: Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship, in March 2020. His work also appears in the collection New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (2018) and at "Black Perspectives," the blog for the African American Intellectual History Society. He earned his B.A. from Howard University and Ph.D. from Yale University. -------------------------------------------------------------------- The Free People of Color Lecture Series is hosted by the Aoki Center at King Hall and the UC Davis Department of History to explore the rights of people of color in the United States following the Civil War and inquire how that history continues to shape our thinking today. The Series will bring leading scholars from around the country to answer such questions as: What does freedom mean in the absence of chattel slavery? Which rights adhere to all free people, and which rights functioned more as privileges belonging to a narrow few? How did the establishment of birthright national citizenship transform the legal rights both of citizens and of so-called aliens? These questions were sharply contested before, during, and after the Civil War, in the battles over Chinese and Irish immigration on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in struggles over Native American sovereignty and belonging, in debates over the rights of married and single women, in laws over apprenticeship for minors, in statutes that segregated races by place and privileges and rights, and in the reform of prisons and jails across the country. This UC Davis Humanities Institute Transcollege Research Cluster will provide opportunities for students and faculty in law and history to collaborate on scholarship and to exchange ideas that will enrich their work.