Episode

7/22 The Untold Story of Black Electoral Politics Before the Civil War w/ Van Gosse

July 22, 2021

Emma hosts Van Gosse, Professor and Associate Chair of History at Franklin & Marshall University, to discuss his recent book “The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War,” on the political role of Black folks before their constitutional emancipation, and how their pre-Civil War work has been erased over time. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, Professor Gosse walks through how emancipation did not start in 1863, but began in the north immediately following independence – even including enfranchisement for both Black taxpayers and women, with 10 of 13 colonies having no racial bar for voting at the time of the Dred Scott decision. He and Emma look into the different forms of emancipation following the revolution, and how northern New England saw a judicial, rather than gradual, emancipation, with Black people holding party offices, working polls, and taking part in patronage, before they touch on how white folks in New England would look to Black voters for validation of the Wigs’ fight for manumission. Next, Van and Emma move onto the roles of Black constituencies in different states, with Philly serving as the center for free Black folk in the north and Black New Yorkers engaging in a massive multi-decade political project in the early 1800s to take on a drastically more political role. They conclude the interview with disenfranchisement as a tactic to rally white voters, the white-washing project in US history to obscure Black folks’ role in fighting for progress, and explore the problematic nature of a progressive view of history. Emma rounds out the first half by watching Biden cling to his childhood dream of bipartisanship at his CNN Town Hall.

And in the Fun Half: The crew discusses their most conservative takes, from gun ownership to modern art to the grandmother fashion aesthetic, Republicans’ embrace over impending biblical disasters, and Ben Shapiro defends the billionaire space race with the popularly known fact that Jeff Bezos pays like allll of the taxes and totally self-funds, despite Jeff himself admitting that the money came from Amazon workers. Then, Nick from Japan calls in to talk taking on tech with more than just anti-trust, the crew discusses Emmanuel Acho emerging as the newest inflammatory sports personality, and whether Bitcoin has the capabilities of world peace, or if the aggregation of mass amounts of wealth maybe isn’t conducive to peace and equity, plus, your calls and IMs!

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