scholars must rethink their characterizations of plantation slavery. The absence of a distinct material culture of enslaved Africans does not mean that northern slavery did not exist. Rather, the evidence suggests that cat- egories of race and servitude were ﬂ uid and that life on Atlantic planta- tions was not monolithic. Scholars of Atlantic world slavery, Native New England, or nineteenth- century memory likely will not be surprised by Hayes’s arguments about the mutability of race and diversity of plantation structure. However, Hayes’s study demonstrates the necessity of interdisciplinary understanding of historical archaeology, especially when it comes to studying populations underrepresented in the written record. Slavery before Race makes the case for the persistent need to disentangle race from deﬁ nitions of culture and community. After all, Hayes concludes, two Long Island Algonquian communities continue to petition for tribal recognition against claims that miscegenation has diluted their cultural identity. By drawing out the impli- cations of her study for this contemporary debate, Hayes has reminded historians of race of the immediate importance of their work. Whitney Martinko whitney martinko is an assistant professor of history at Villanova University. She is revising a book manuscript entitled “Progress through Preservation: History
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 9, 2014
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