[Blackstudies-l] from the Geneseo website:

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Thu Feb 19 10:35:12 EST 2015

 Feb. 18, 2015
Behrend's New Book Examines Role of Freedpeople in American Democracy
[image: Justin Behrend] <http://www.geneseo.edu/image/justin-behrend>

GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo faculty member Justin Behrend’s just-published
book “Reconstructing Democracy” examines how politically engaged former
slaves established a new system of governance in the South after the Civil

Behrend <http://www.geneseo.edu/history/justin-behrend>, associate
professor of history, argues that newly freedpeople created a new democracy
in the Reconstruction era, one that replaced the oligarchic rule of
slaveholders and Confederates with a system based on egalitarian principles
and grassroots participation.

“In general, the political history of freedpeople has not received the
attention that it deserves,” Behrend writes. “Beyond the political history
of freedpeople after emancipation, the subject of democracy formation at
the grassroots level has received little attention.”

Behrend contends that in the development of American democracy, only
certain people have been historically considered “the people” in terms of
governance, and the broad participation and impact of the emancipated
freedpeople have been slighted.

Behrend has been on the Geneseo faculty since 2007. His research interests
include 19th century U.S. history, African American history, Atlantic World
slavery, and Southern history. His book was published by the University of
Georgia Press.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Director
(585) 245-5529
Irwin at geneseo.edu
Maria Helena Lima
Department of English
Comparative Literature Director
Welles 225A
SUNY Geneseo
Geneseo, NY 14454

(585) 245-5242
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