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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Watch Professor VoiceThread The Early Republic and Antebellum Eras (Essay Sample)


As America transformed from disparate colonies to a young nation, opportunities increased for many African Americans, while others continued to live in bondage. During the early republic and antebellum eras, many states outlawed slavery immediately following the revolutionary war, others (including New York) did so gradually, while in the South, emancipation rarely was considered. Westward expansion exacerbated America’s deep divisions regarding slavery and the status of African Americans, resulting in halfway measures such as the Missouri Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Act. Meanwhile, the abolition movement gained power in the North, separatist sentiments hardened in the South, and industrialization and immigration transformed North American cities into hotbeds of labor unrest. Against this tumultuous legal and social landscape, we examine the works of African American artists across the nation, including Joshua Johnson in Baltimore, Julien Hudson in New Orleans, Dave the Potter in South Carolina, and Robert Scott Duncanson and James Preston Ball in Cincinnati.
1. Watch: Professor VoiceThread “The Early Republic and Antebellum Eras”
2. Read: online resource, Leonard Todd, “Dave’s Poems”
3. Read: Jennifer Bryan and Robert Torchia, “The Mysterious Portraitist Joshua Johnson” Archives of American Art Journal 36 no. 2 (1996): 3-7. (pdf)
4. Read: William Keyse Rudolph and Patricia Brady, In Search of Julien Hudson: Free Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans (New Orleans: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2011). (pdf)
5. Read: Joseph D. Ketner, “’Struggles many and great:’ James P. Ball, Robert Duncanson, and other artists of color in antebellum Cincinnati,” Antiques (November/December, 2011): 108-115.(pdf)
6. Review: the website “J.P. Ball, African American Photographer” at the Cincinnati Historical Society:
7. Submit: three entries in the Journal platform on BlackBoard that reflect on at least six of the seven sources of information in this unit. Each entry should be 200-300 words in length and discuss specific points of information, using names of authors, videos, artists, places, dates, titles, etc. You can think about these entries in terms of answering general questions about your engagement with each VoiceThread, reading, or video. For example, discuss something new that you learned, or something that surprised you. Did course materials lead you to think about the topic, the United States, or yourself, in a new way? DUE DATE: Complete all entries no later than Thursday, July 18th at Midnight.
8. Post: The text of one of your journal entries as a Discussion Thread in the Unit Three Discussion Forum no later than Thursday, July 18th at Midnight.
9. Comment: Reply to the Discussion Forum posts of at least five of your classmates with substantial and collegial responses that affirm and/or add to the thoughts of your fellow students. DUE DATE: Complete all comments no later than Midnight on Friday, July 19th, when Unit Three ends and the Discussion Forums close.


Professor’s Name:
Due Date:
Journal Entry
Entry 1
In the clip titled The Early Republic and Antebellum Eras, some important pieces of information arise. One important piece of information is how the North and the South became separated and chose different paths that saw the North grow tremendously. The abolitionists were mainly in the North while the South was filled with individuals who supported slavery. In the North, the Industrial Revolution had taken charge while in the South, cotton plantations increased which meant the need for slaves increased. From this era, two other things also manifested within the American territory. The first one was the expansion to the west which meant more land had to be acquired. These activities gave rise to the manifest destiny which was a philosophy that guided the White Americans as they displaced the Native Americans and went about acquiring more land. One thing that stands out for me here is the fact that people can believe in their ideologies to a point where they seek to actualize their reality like the White Americans did.
Reading Dave’s Poems provides one with first-hand information regarding the life of a slave. Through his talent, Dave managed to share his ideas with the world and even though it took time, his work was eventually appreciated. His works are not only real but help to showcase the plight of slaves during his time. Literacy was not meant for the African Americans and one could be punished if they tried to learn. A lack of learning and writing materials were also major issues. However, for Dave, this did not deter his efforts to share his ideas with the world that came after. The biggest lesson from Dave’s story and poems is that there is always a way, one just needs to keep looking.
Entry 2
Reading Rudolph’s and Brady’s In Search of Julien Hudson, opened up my eyes to the idea that I can the first. Hudson ventured into a career without seeing any person from his family take up painting. Before painting, Hudson had tr

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