"An intriguing analysis of African-American celebrations of freedom during the late nineteenth century. . . . A worthy addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of the period."
Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Clark seeks to uplift and inspire with a steady drumbeat of African American agency and resistance on the long march to freedom."
Journal of American History
"Through vivid, evocative stories, Clark charts an ongoing public debate among African Americans about how to narrate their history and define the nature of their progress since Emancipation. The book's high points are its close examinations of people or events that reflect the complexities of this struggle; Clark's discussions of Augusta's Emancipation Day and of the career of Charles Hunter bring lost worlds to life.(Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison) "
From the Inside Flap
In the first book-length study of African American commemorations in the South following emancipation, Clark shows how traditions such as Emancipation Day created unique opportunities for southern black communities to memorialize slavery and celebrate freedom while also defining themselves collectively and asserting their citizenship after the Civil War.