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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the emergently economic inflections of the term and meaning of manhood in the slave’s narrative. It focuses on the proprietary preoccupations, or “possessive hope,” of the exslave upon Emancipation and his concern to actualize manhood’s economic shadings in business, marriage, and property ownership. Counterposing the material meaning of manhood in the slave’s narrative to the sentimental notions of heroic or affective manhood, this chapter posits manhood in the slave’s narrative as an incorporation of black men legibly into the concrete economic and social life of the nation. More specifically, it defines black manhood as the condition accruing to those who claim property rights over their own bodies, labor, acquired possessions, and dependents as free black men and wage earners.

Keywords: emancipation, manhood, property rights, marriage, incorporation, possessive hope

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