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The Militarization of Freedom

The Militarization of Freedom

(p.102) Four The Militarization of Freedom
Beyond Redemption
Carole Emberton
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the vision of martial manhood that can be seen from an ex-slave’s transformation. Martial manhood played a significant role in the redemptive narrative of the Civil War, emancipation, and reconstruction. For numerous white abolitionists and Republican lawmakers, black soldiers embodied not only an essential military advantage over the Confederacy, but also an ideal of independent manhood that seemed to answer the problem of dependency that clouded the dawn of freedom. For black Americans, who wanted to prove their worth to be included in the body politic as citizens, the military provided the respect, honor, and political enfranchisement that the African Americans longed for.

Keywords:   martial manhood, ex-slaves, african americans, civil war, redemptive narrative

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