Numbering over 10,000 titles, May's pamphlets and leaflets document the anti-slavery struggle at the local, regional, and national levels. Much of the May Anti-Slavery Collection was considered ephemeral or fugitive, and today many of these pamphlets are scarce. Sermons, position papers, offprints, local Anti-Slavery Society newsletters, poetry anthologies, freedmen's testimonies, broadsides, and Anti-Slavery Fair keepsakes all document the social and political implications of the abolitionist movement.
The 351 titles in the collection include sermons on racial pride and political activism; annual reports of charitable, educational, and political organizations; and college catalogs and graduation orations from the Hampton Institute, Morgan College, and Wilberforce University. Also included are biographies, slave narratives, speeches by members of Congress, legal documents, poetry, playbills, dramas, and librettos. Other pamphlets focus on segregation, voting rights, violence against African-Americans, and the colonization of Africa by freed slaves.
Offers access to information about the cultural life and history in the 1800s, including first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day, Also contains early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements.
Part I: Freedom's Journal, New York, 1827-Mar. 1829; Colored American, New York, 1837-Mar. 1840; The North Star, Rochester, NY, 1847-July 1849; National Era, Washington, DC, 1847-Dec. 1848.
Part II: Colored American, 1840-41; The North Star, July 1849-1851; Frederick Douglass Papers (continuation of The North Star), 1851-May 1852; National Era, 1847-Dec. 1850; Provincial Freeman, Toronto, ON, 1854-Dec. 18, 1855.
Part III: Frederick Douglass Papers, May 1852-Dec. 1852; National Era, Dec. 1850-Dec. 1853; Provincial Freeman, Dec. 1855-57; The Christian Recorder, Toronto, ON, 1861-April 1862.
Part IV: The Christian Recorder, May 1862-Dec. 1864; National Era, Jan. 1854-Dec. 1855; Frederick Douglass Papers, Jan. 1853-Dec. 1854.
Part V: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1865-June 1868; National Era, Jan. 1856-Dec. 1857; Frederick Douglass Papers, Jan. 1855-Dec. 1856.
Part VI: National Era, Jan. 1858-Mar. 1860; The Christian Recorder, July 1868-Dec. 1870.
Part VII: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1872-Dec. 1876.
Part VIII: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1877-Dec. 1882.
Part IX: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1883-Dec. 1887.
Part X: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1888-Dec. 1893 (excluding 1892)
Part XI: The Christian Recorder, Jan. 1894-Dec. 1898
Holdings: Parts 1 - 12
Donaldson, Susan V. “Telling Forgotten Stories of Slavery in the Postmodern South.” The Southern Literary Journal. 40.2 (Spring 2008) < http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2298/journals/southern_literary_journal/v040/40.2.donaldson.html>
Susan Donaldson’s article explores the response of the black population to Gone With the Wind’s depiction of slavery and African Americans. Due to the depictions of Black characters like Prissy, a “stupid” and “sqeaky” slave, the reaction from the Black community was strongly negative. Even writers like Malcolm X describe the discomfort and disgust they endured watching the humiliation of actress Butterfly McQueen in her role as Prissy. African American historian and feminist Alice Walker described viewing the film as a “nightmare… in which the suffering of millions of black people over hundreds of years of enslavement is trivialized to the point of laughter. It is a film in which one spoiled white woman’s summer of picking cotton is deemed more important than the work, under the lash, of twenty generations of my ancestors.”
Donaldson’s article is of particular importance to the analysis of the historical truth underlying the film Gone With the Wind because it provides the responses of black Americans to the film, a typically silenced minority. Acknowledging that the film employs racist stereotypes in their depiction of slaves is critically to understanding the true Black culture in the South. Further, in light of Alice Walker’s response to the film, it is important that the viewer understands the hypocrisy and manipulation of the film. Scarlett is cast as a heroine and matriarch for much of the film, however she is only granted this title because she attempts the work that her slaves have been doing for her people for generations.
Essentially, Donaldson describes Gone With the Wind as a misleading illustration of the 19th Century South, as well as a misguided acclamation of white Southern women.
Richardson, Riché. “Southern Horrors, Global Terrors.” Black Renaissance, 7.3 (Fall 2007). 30 Nov. 2008.
Southern Horrors, Global Terrors by Riche Richardson analyzes the manner in which producers D.W. Griffith and David Selznick approached translating the racially-charged novels “The Clansman” and “Gone With the Wind” into film. Both novels, set during the American Civil War and rooted in Southern ideology, utilize virulent racist language to illustrate the pervasive bigotry typical of the South during the War period. Griffith’s 1915 film Birth of a Nation, based on the novel “The Clansman,” retains and advances the novel’s racist elements. In contrast, Selznick’s 1939 film adaptation of Gone With the Wind offers an ostensibly less racially-charged account of the War and Reconstruction than both the film’s literary counterpart and Birth of a Nation. Richardson describes the film version of Gone With the Wind as more “sanitized,” ignoring numerous instances in the novel where popular characters like Rhett Butler and Melanie Wilkes dehumanize and devalue African Americans. Further, Richardson contends that Selznick’s omission of many of Margaret Mitchell’s racist elements is reflective of Hollywood’s contemporary rejection of overt racism as distasteful and morally reprehensible.
In assessing the consistency of Gone With the Wind with the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Richardson’s article provides a valuable insight into the nature of racism in the 19th Century South. Both novels advance the Southern ideology of the period that aimed to perpetuate black inferiority to the white supremacist class. As the article illustrates, Griffith chose to accommodate such bigotry in his film, while Selznick chose to “tone down” Mitchell’s racist elements. Selznick’s choice to abandon much of the bigotry that pervades the literary narrative may make the film more appealing to contemporary Hollywood and American culture, but makes the film less reflective of the Southern ideology of the period.
Conde, Mary. “Some African-American Fictional Responses to Gone With the Wind.” The Yearbook of English Studies. 26. (1996) JSTOR. University of Pennsylvania Library. Philadelphia. 1 Dec. 2008. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/3508659>
In her essay, author Mary Conde addresses the African American community’s reaction to Gone With the Wind, and the novel’s writer Margaret Mitchell’s reaction to their criticism. The most common criticism of the novel is that it appealed to a mythic and romanticized ideal of the “Old South” that ignores the atrocities of the Civil War and the practice of slavery. However, Mitchell vehemently denies these accusations, claiming that she herself denies the existence of any rosy Southern ideal. Further, it is important to note that her novel’s protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara, does not support the Confederate cause and, as illustrated by her emotional breakdown in the hospital while treating veterans, is deeply moved by the atrocities war. Despite Scarlett’s dismissal of the Confederate cause as a justification for war, many African Americans continue to dismiss Gone With the Wind as a gross misrepresentation of the era of slavery in the South.
The reaction of the African American community to the Hollywood adaptation of Gone With the Wind provides numerous examples of the historical inconsistencies and myths present in the film. Many of these reactions have taken the form of fictional writing intended to undermine the glorification of the “Old South.” Novels like Dessa Rose and Jubilee depict the black woman’s struggle during the Civil War. In both novels, the protagonists are hideously scarred, and the plot is ridden with violence and exploitation. Such novels stand in direct contrast to Mitchell’s novel, and paint a more realistic, albeit grim, picture of the American South in the Civil War.
Julian Bach argues that there is always the clash between traditional and liberal beliefs about slavery. He mentions that slavery was “natural and historically universal, but it was vindicated by political, social, and economic expediency.” Also, he believes that the Southerners consider freedom a privilege or a rank that they have received so they are very unwilling to share that "status" with African-Americans who previously were under their control. These thoughts of the Southerners confront those of the Northerners who are more experimental and liberal, creating tension between the two regions.
Bach, Julian S. "The Social Thought of the Old South." The American Journal of Sociology 46.2 (1940): 179-188. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/2769450>.
Fleisig's article "Slavery, the Supply of Agricultural Labor, and the Industrialization of the South" argues that it was the North that had to turn to industrialization because of the limited source of labor. He mentions the numerous attempts of the North to create another way of pulling labor sources without using slavery, as the South had done to avoid the problem. The South then continued to rely heavily on slavery, while the North began to industrialize.
Fleisig, Heywood. “Slavery, the Supply of Agricultural Labor, and the Industrialization of the South.” The Journal of Economic History 36.3 (1976): 572-597.
George Woolfolk addresses one of the problems created with slavery: taxation. Because slaves were considered property, slave owners were forced to pay tax on slaves, which they found unfair; therefore, they demanded a new taxation law to improve the conditions. After the taxation law, slaves under 14 were tax-exempt while those over 14 were still accountable for taxes. While this law didn't completely eliminate the problem, it reduced the tension in the antebellum South.
Woolfolk, George R. "Taxes and Slavery in the Antebellum South." The Journal of Southern History 26.2 (1960): 180-200. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/2955182>.
Patterson's article describes different perspectives of slavery, including Marxist and non-Marxist slavery studies and also gives the guideline for students who are conducting studies on comparative slavery. Patterson provides a list of various areas in which researchers have yet to study and suggests that these fields must be investigated in order to further examine the history of slavery and different beliefs many people hold about slavery. While this articles does not provide thorough history of slavery and its development, it gives the idea of the general transitional sketch of slavery.
Patterson, Orlando. “Slavery.” Annual Review of Sociology 3 (1977): 407-449.
In a formal interview, Oprah Winfrey discusses the preparation involved in playing an African American slave in “Beloved”. Jonathan Demme, the director, also comments on Oprah’s historical treatment of the character she plays. By J. Bruno
The article discusses many media portrayals of slavery, particularly citing “Beloved” as the second Hollywood movie made about the treatment of slavery. Comparisons of the film are made to “Amistad”, a Spielberg film released 11 months prior to “Beloved”. By J. Bruno
This article looks at the reception of “Gone with the Wind” by the African American Press. It analyzes the response of this particular group and what that meant for the film as a whole. There was a lot of criticism on the film by the press. However, the portrayal of some of the African American characters was received favorably.
Hattie McDaniel’s role was praised by the press. The movie as a whole was not entirely criticized for its portrayal of African Americans. The press saw it mostly as a step up from other portrayals of the racial group. However, there was resistance to the favorable representation of the plantation culture. The hegemony of the film was not looked upon favorably by the African American press, especially since it seemed to condone it throughout the film.
Overall the film was both accepted and criticized for many reasons by the African American press. It allowed Hattie McDaniel to win the Academy Award. The African American response to the film also helped Hollywood shape future films. The portrayal of more complex Black characters was well received and expected after that film.
This article explains the view of the African American culture. It looks at something other than the majority for an opinion on the film. This is not always a view given on something that was so favorably received by popular culture. It provides insight into the different types of spectators and to the opinions of other groups.
Today, almost every film receives a big premiere and a grand opening. There is a red carpet and photographers. It is an essential part of the requisite publicity package. The excitement generated by these events attracts people to the theaters and helps boost film revenues. However, at the time Gone with the Wind was produced, it was rare that a film received such fanfare.
Daily Variety provided coverage of the Gone with the Wind premiere and declared it to be one of the biggest premieres of the time. On the front page of the paper, the morning after the premiere, it was reported that the Atlanta "staged the greatest celebration in its history." The theater, the Loew's Grand, was transformed into the Wilkes plantation house. When people passed by the theater they were curious about what was happening and why the facade of the theater had changed. The response which they received generated publicity for the film. Searchlights, which were visible for several miles, let everyone know that it was premiere night. All of the major stars of the film (and others) - Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Olivia de Havilland, Evelyn Keyes, Carol Lombard and Claudette Colbert attended. The theater held 2,019 people on opening night, each of whom paid $10 per seat, with the money going to charity. Producers were also in attendance. The next week, there was another premiere in New York. Even with all of this hoopla, there were disappointments. Everything was neither perfect nor did it run smoothly. The late nights took a toll on executives. All of the fanfare and glamour got in the way of business. Additionally, there were reports of disappointing initial grosses. This was blamed on pre-Christmas shopping and "psychological overselling" - because of all of the publicity, people assumed that there would be long lines and therefore did not even bother to come to the theater. Despite some "brief hiccups" the movie went on to gross $390 million worldwide.
This article is very informative, revealing the inner workings of the industry and psyche of the public at the time. Although society has evolved and experienced many changes, much has stayed the same.
It is amazing that a film could be so successful 70 years ago when there were far fewer venues for promotion and fewer theaters to generate a large gross profit. This article also reveals that the formula for a successful film is very similar to today - the celebrities, the publicity, the promotion, the premiere and the fanfare. It is a formula as old as the movies themselves.
Margaret Mitchell had been working as a reporter for a newspaper when she fell from a horse and was forced to resign. She was confined to her small, one-bedroom apartment which she nicknamed "The Dump." Ms. Mitchell was given a typewriter as a gift in order to occupy herself within the confines of her house. She was told to write "what she knew." Secretly, she began to write a book. Given the endless flow of people and friends who came through her apartment, she found it very difficult to hide the manuscript. It seemed unlikely that the novel would ever be published because she kept it a secret from anyone who would be able to publish it for her. However, Mitchell's friend who worked at a publishing company discovered parts of the novel in Mitchell's home. The friend informed her boss, Harold Latham, of the "masterpiece" she had found. Latham flew to Atlanta and questioned Mitchell regarding the novel. However, Mitchell did not want to turn in the novel to the publisher. She claimed that it was "lousy, and she was ashamed of it." In a brilliant use of reverse psychology, Mitchell's friend said to her, "well, I would never expect that you would write a good novel, you don't take life seriously enough." Mitchell was angered by this, raced home and immediately gave it over to Latham. She said "take it before I change my mind." Latham read the novel and changed the name of the main character to Scarlet. This was the inception of one of the most successful novels in history. Gone with the Wind was finally published on June 30, 1936 and had almost just as much impact on Atlanta as the actual events that were detailed in the book. It sold more copies than any other book except for the Bible.
This is a revealing source which details the way in which the phenomenally successful novel, Gone with the Wind, came into existence. It is amazing to think that its author thought that her creation was "lousy." Additionally, it is fascinating how a true phenomenon can be born out of seemingly mundane events and thoughts. One of the greatest, best-selling books of all time is a product of a leisure project on a typewriter in someone's living room. Mitchell did not sit down with the intent of writing a phenomenon; she was just trying to keep herself busy when she could no longer work as a newspaper reporter.
One most consider the novel, Gone with the Wind, as a precursor to the film. It is important to understand where the novel came from and the thought process of its author. It is further fascinating that the novel was as huge a success as the film. Often, a book is successful and interesting, while the movie version of the novel is not. Margaret Mitchell wrote a novel and spawned a film that entertained in its time, continues to be of interest as a period piece, and will continue to entertain many generations to come.
This article, by Ben Railton, compares and contrasts two immensely successful novels, Gone with the Wind and Absalom, Absalom!. 1936 was an incredible time for both the historical and Southern novel. The two novels studied are perfect paradigms of this fact. Gone with the Wind and Absalom, Absalom! present many similarities and differences between their key characters and settings. These are "two interpretations of history which were coming into conflict at precisely the moment of this coincidental joint publication."
This article provides a unique view of Gone with the Wind. By comparing the novel to another important work of the time, a very different perspective is presented in light of the historical issues of Absalom, Absalom!. This comparison of the two important novels is a means of understanding the framework of Gone with the Wind from a completely different perspective.
This article addresses the issue of slavery which was pervasive in the South during the Civil War. The idea of emancipation was a constantly debated topic within Civil War society. Some wanted the slaves freed while others wanted the Southern institution protected form any intervention. This article from Harper's Weekly is unique in that it is a truly primary source, an actual firsthand article from a real publication of Civil War times. The article was published on December 7, 1861.
The beginning of the article suggests that it is the President and his Generals who must determine what effect the war will have on the South. While there had been no formal change to the policy of slavery at the time of the article's publication, no generals (with the exception of one) permitted "slave hunting" any longer. Additionally, labor was being performed by whites as well as blacks. The article predicts that only time will tell what is to come. The article goes on to say that the Southerners would view a decree of emancipation as laughable. The South sees the entire government and the North as abolitionists. Therefore, an emancipation decree would not be unexpected. The only way to enforce emancipation is through the army. In essence, wherever the Northern army dominates is where abolition would take hold. However, when a general needs more men, he will reconsider his proclamation stating that slaves cannot fight. "Necessity is a most successful schoolmaster."
The article goes on to elaborate on the harsh realities of slavery and emancipation. People acted as they pleased and change was rarely effected without the strong arm of a gun. As a firsthand source, the Harper's Weekly articles are invaluable in their revelation of significant issues often overlooked in history books. Although the article may be biased it is still a highly realistic point of view of the war.
The views held by Southerners regarding slavery during the Civil War are a harsh reality that was pervasive at the time and formed the basis of the Gone with the Wind story. This article provides the reader with additional insight into the characters and types of people who lived during the time of Gone with the Wind and provided the framework for the story that continues to engage generations.
This article, written by Elissa R. Henken discusses the Civil War and is history. The war was fought between the North and the South over states' rights and the abolition of slavery. However, the Civil War also had a significant impact on shaping Southern identity. Although the war is long over, it continues to be an issue of debate amongst the descendants of the original Confederates. It is a part of their history which they will neither relinquish nor put aside.
In this article, Henken details information regarding the Civil War legends and family narratives from people around Georgia. Henken sheds light on the psyche of the Southern mentality of contemporary Georgia. It is interesting to consider that the participants in the article's fieldwork are probably descendants of some of the people who Mitchell used as models for her Gone with the Wind characters. In Henken's article, those descendants of Civil War Southerners provide very strong views of their ancestors. Through the article we are able to see firsthand how Southerners think today and how they view their past. In Gone with the Wind, we see the past of the South recreated in all its glory. The film is a visual embodiment of Henken's study.
Henken's article is particularly interesting to me because it is a primary source and firsthand account of true Southerners, specifically residents of Georgia. The article illustrates real life versions of the fictional characters portrayed in Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O'Hara's and Rhett Butlers truly exist today. In learning about a culture or society, it is fascinating to have firsthand accounts of real people in addition to the fictional versions portrayed in film or literature. Henken's article provides a window into a unique society at a specific time in history. Now, in addition to learning about the Civil War era through a Hollywood studio's view in a great film, I have also attained an understanding of the underlying reality that contributed to the psyche, social mores and political situation of the time.
Gone with the Wind is a film that continues to be relevant because of the time period portrayed, its social influences, and overall importance in the history of film. The release of Gone with the Wind on DVD is significant for a number of reasons. The enhancement of the actual film and the special features added make the DVD an important addition to any film library and just as significant as the film's initial release.
Included in the DVD's content is an in depth interview with Olivia de Hallivand, who plays Melanie. She was nominated for an Academy Award, however, she lost to Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy. (There is speculation that the reason McDaniel won was as compensation for not being invited to the movie's Atlanta premiere.) In de Hallivand's interview, she reveals the chaos which occurred behind the scenes during the production of the film. For example, directors and writers came and went with alarming frequency.
The most impressive part of the DVD, which makes the DVD "vital and gorgeous", is the attempt to revert to the quality of the original Technicolor process in which the film was shot. The evolution of Technicolor is a significant facet of film history. Gone with the Wind was to be the test of the new Technicolor technology. The production of the film centered around brilliance and contrast of color as well as intricate scenery shots. Much of the original impact of the film lay in the quantity and quality of color schemes throughout the production. As the technology of film progressed, Technicolor was deemed old fashioned and new technology improved upon the once spectacular visions produced by the once unique color delivery system. The Gone with the Wind DVD has resurrected the original screen's Technicolor version of the film.
I feel that it is of great significance and interest for today's audience to see the film just as it was presented in its original form. The use of Technicolor had a significant impact on the audience of the time. Every aspect of a film contributes to the way in which an audience views, comprehends, and appreciates the film. With all the technology available today for production quality enhancement, it is important to have the ability to revert back to the original film version and screen it in its purest form. With every generation producing new audiences with interest in the film, the release of the DVD has made this important piece of film history readily accessible to an even wider audience. The attraction of the DVD lies in its special features. For film buffs and people who are knowledgeable about the history of film and production values, the remastering of Gone with the Wind in Technicolor is an important feature which, perhaps, trumps all of the other aspects of the DVD.