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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cultivating Race: The Expansion of Slavery in Georgia

 Dr. Watson Jennison is an assistant professor in UNCG's Department of History and author of Cultivating Race: The Expansion of Slavery in Georgia, 1750-1860. Claudio Saunt, author of Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of an American Family, praises Dr. Jennison's book saying, "Colonial Georgia has long been known as 'the debatable land' contested by the British and Spanish crowns. That imperial conflict, as Watson Jennison shows, was the tip of the iceberg. In a sweeping account, Jennison describes the struggle between Low Country planters, Revolutionary republicans, black maroons, free people of color, and Native Americans to control the region. Georgia's violent and tumultuous first century culminated in the creation of a white man's republic. Readers of this excellent book will know that the outcome was neither uncontested nor inevitable."

Publisher, University Press of Kentucky, explains that Cultivating Race: The Expansion of Slavery in Georgia, 1750-1860 "explores the centrality of race in the development of Georgia, arguing that long-term structural and demographic changes account for this transformation. Jennison traces the rise of rice cultivation and the plantation complex in low country Georgia in the mid-eighteenth century and charts the spread of slavery into the up country in the decades that followed. Cultivating Race examines the “cultivation” of race on two levels: race as a concept and reality that was created, and race as a distinct social order that emerged because of the specifics of crop cultivation. Using a variety of primary documents including newspapers, diaries, correspondence, and plantation records, Jennison offers an in-depth examination of the evolution of racism and racial ideology in the lower South."

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