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The Politics of Suffering

The Politics of Suffering

(p.36) Two The Politics of Suffering
Beyond Redemption
Carole Emberton
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the problematic nature of white sympathy to the Civil War representations of black suffering. When reformers, lawmakers, and army officials first confronted ex-slaves as they began to pour over the Union in great numbers, most of them found their behavior and appearance to be appalling. In order to free themselves from the legacy of slavery, white reformers took it upon themselves to embark on a civilizing mission that emphasized the importance of discipline and suffering as necessary requirements for freedom.

Keywords:   white sympathy, civil war, freedom, suffering, white reformers

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