Double "Double Consciousness": An Archaeology of African American Class and Identity in Annapolis, Maryland, 1850 to 1930
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This dissertation explores the intersections of race and class within African American communities of the 19th and early 20th centuries in order to expand our understanding of the diversity within this group. By examining materials recovered from archaeological sites in Annapolis, Maryland, this dissertation uses choices in material culture to demonstrate that there were at least two classes present within the African American community in Annapolis between 1850 and 1930. These choices also show how different classes within this community applied the strategies advocated by prominent African American scholars, including Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, and Nannie Helen Burroughs, as ways to negotiate the racism they encountered in daily lives. One class, the "inclusionist" class, within the community embraced the idea of presenting themselves as industrious, moral, clean, and prosperous to their White neighbors, a strategy promoted by scholars such as Booker T. Washington and Nannie Helen Burroughs. However, another group within the community, the "autonomist" class, wanted to maintain a distinct African American identity that reflected the independent worth of their community with an emphasis on a uniquely African American aesthetic, as scholars such as W.E.B. Du Bois suggested. The implementation of different strategies for racial uplift in daily life is both indicative of the presence of multiple classes and an indication that these different classes negotiated racism in different ways. This dissertation explores the strategies of inclusion and exclusion African American scholars advocated; how African Americans in Annapolis, Maryland implemented these strategies in daily life during the 19th and early 20th centuries; and how debates over implementing these strategies are still occurring today.