WHAT DID THEY EAT? WHERE DID THEY STAY?
BLACK BOARDINGHOUSES AND THE COLORED CONVENTIONS MOVEMENT
During the nineteenth century, thousands of African Americans traveled to attend state and national Colored Conventions. While a great deal of scholarship on the Colored Conventions focuses on political activity occurring on the Convention floor, Psyche Williams-Forson’s essay “What Did They Eat? Where Did They Stay?: Interpreting the Material Culture of Black Women’s Domestic Work and Labor in the Context of the Colored Conventions,” prompts us to look beyond the convention hall and to consider a broader spectrum of political engagement encompassing the work of women within home.
Curators: Jenn Briggs and Anna Lacy, graduate students at the the University of Delaware, Dept of History, and Psyche Williams-Forson, Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland. Created for Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman’s History/English 641 class, Spring, 2016.
Edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman and Sarah Patterson.
Special thanks to CCP senior researcher Caleb Trotter for providing technical assistance with data visualizations and to fellow ENGL 641 student, Harry Lewis, for sharing his essay on boardinghouses in the postbellum conventions movement.
Special thanks to Gale, a Cengage Company, and Accessible Archives Inc.® for granting permission for the use of the materials from 19th Century U.S. Newspaper and African American Newspapers: The 19th Century.
The Colored Conventions Project works with teaching partners and their students to create digital content on the rich history of Black political organizing in the nineteenth-century. Visit our Teaching Partners page to browse the curriculum and find information on becoming a teaching partner.
Read the accompanying article “Where Did They Eat? Where Did They Stay? Interpreting Material Culture of Black Women’s Domesticity in the Context of the Colored Conventions” by Psyche Williams-Forson in The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century (UNC Press, 2021).