▶︎ What Was African American Marriage?

What was marriage under slavery? Professor Tera W. Hunter’s new book, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century provides an intimate glimpse of the affections and complexities of black marriage in the United States from its origins. In an illuminating conversation, Professor Tera Hunter and Professor Eddie Glaude discuss major takeaways from the book, key language introduced by Hunter, and various new understandings about African American marriage and family life from 1800 to the present day. A common assumption shared by liberal and conservative commentators alike is that low marriage rates in African American communities are a byproduct of slavery. However, Hunter’s research shows that marriage among African Americans, respected by law or not, was widely embraced in earlier times. From slavery to reconstruction, a desire to marry and build lives together factored centrally in the hearts and minds of African American men and women. After marriage was legalized following emancipation, black marriage rates started to eclipse white Americans’ by the turn of the twentieth century. Hunter suggests current declining marriage rates may best be attributed to advantages offered to some Americans, and denied to other Americans at specific, consequential junctures, such as in the wake of World War II. Bound in Wedlock is a groundbreaking book which, through an extensive archive, dismantles pathologies as it fascinates.

 

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This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Media Specialist: Allison Bland
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ ‘Before Cornel West, After Cornel West’

In episode six of AAS 21 podcast, Professor Glaude is joined by teacher and friend of 30 years, Dr. Cornel West. When it comes to habits of reading, West tells of staying in contact with the best of the past, feeling incomplete if he doesn’t accomplish his nightly three hours of study. West considers artists as the vanguard of the species, and more than enjoying great literature and writing as a spectator, West believes authors provide the blueprint a person needs to live their life as a work of art. Contemporary writers like Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Susan Sontag, and Sheldon Wolin are only a sample of the ‘post-Du Bois’ intellectuals West knows can bring a world of depth to a person. But in many ways, with his consistent and constant embodiment of the three pillars of piety – remembrance, reverence, and resistance – the life of West is itself a new marker of time.

For more information on all things AAS 21 Podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.

▶︎ ‘A Through Line for African American Studies’

African American Studies is a field that shows how ‘this connects to that.’ In this conversation, Professor Glaude interviews his colleague Professor Imani Perry about her expansive, pathbreaking archive. Perry discusses her forthcoming book projects, ideas about methodology, and habits of reading. One book, May We Forever Stand, a cultural history of the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” tells a story about black institutional life, ritual and loss. Another book, Vexy Thing: A Book on Gender is an account of patriarchy, empire, conquest and – through a real commitment to feminist practice – liberation. Finally, Perry is at work about a book on the life of Lorraine Hansberry. Perry’s insight as a scholar trained in multiple disciplines reveals a valuable toolkit for those seeking to enter and make a difference in the academy. Glaude and Perry also discuss what they are reading and listening to today.

For more of the AAS 21 podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.

▶︎ Activism and Risk in the Face of Trump

Destiny A. Crockett and Asanni A. York were thirteen year-olds when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. Crockett and York, who are good friends, are activists and student leaders in their last years at Princeton. York is a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy earning a certificate in African American Studies and Crockett is a concentrator in the Department of English earning a certificate in African American Studies. The two join Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr., who has taught them both, for a conversation about what it has meant to them to mature politically during Obama’s presidency, their research and coursework in African American Studies, the organizing movement work they’ve done on campus and in the world, and how they are now imagining their activist futures in the context of President-Elect Donald Trump.

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Media Specialist: Allison Bland
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker

In the second episode of the AAS 21 podcast, Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. spoke with Wallace Best, Professor of Religion and African American Studies about his forthcoming book, Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem. In the book, Professor Best encourages readers to read Langston Hughes religiously, and as a humanist in the tradition of American Religious Liberalism. Though Hughes was criticized, censored and even humiliated by other writers, and federal investigators, because of some of his more radical work like the poem ‘Goodbye Christ,’ Best contends that even through imagining a critical discourse with God, Hughes demonstrates an acknowledgement as to the existence of God. In fact, Hughes was a lover of gospel music and an avid churchgoer, never belonging to one church, but present in his own way in many, reflecting Hughes’ evasive way of being, a style Best describes as influenced by Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. Best’s new work is the result of 12 years of archival research and “communing with Langston.”

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Social Media Manager / Producer: Allison Bland
Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ Convergences and Dissonance

 

In the first podcast produced by the Princeton University Department of African American Studies, colleagues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry, Naomi Murakawa, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor discuss, among other topics, contemporary American politics and the disaster called this election. The discussion moves from examining the political policy points put forward by Clinton and Trump to the political vision put forward by the Movement for Black Lives. The group also addresses the demands of mainstream media, considers how scholars and activists may understand their interaction with media, and discusses how scholars and activists may serve as bridges to one another.

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Social Media Manager / Producer: Allison Bland
Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

Imani Perry and Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor African American Studies and Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Will S. Tod Professor African American Studies and Religion
Naomi Murakawa and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Naomi Murakawa, associate professor of African American Studies and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American Studies