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Liberty or Death: Slaves' Suicides & the Fight to Destroy American Slavery

Lecture background from The Library of Congress Webcasts site:

"As northern abolitionists set about trying to exploit mass media to denounce and destroy American slavery, they found themselves wrestling with the problem of slave suicide. Was it an act of principled resistance to tyranny that struck at the heart of the plantation economy? Or was it a measure of abject victimhood that begged to be mourned and avenged through humanitarian intervention? Kluge Fellow Richard Bell describes the deep differences within the northern abolitionist movement as to who had the power to bring slavery to its knees: white evangelicals who might be moved to action by displays of wretched slave suffering, or black slaves with the courage to fight and die for their freedom."

 
Content