Trial and Triumph
Essays in Tennessee's African American History
Studies of American History can no longer be complete without taking into account the African American perspective. For Tennessee, that perspective is amply provided by this anthology of articles from the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Covering two hundred years of state history, from the frontier era to the bicentennial, Trial and Triumph presents the best and most current scholarship on African Americans in Tennessee.
These selections give voice to many unheard people from Tennessee’s past. Various essays recount the bravery of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War, bring to light the diaries of the planter Robert Cartmell, whose writings reveal hostile relations between slaves and master; and celebrate the life of Girl Scouts activist Josephine Holloway, who helped nurture young girls in the face of prejudice. While focusing primarily on research from the 1990s that enriched our understanding of African American life, the collection also features valuable older articles on such topics as the black Baptist church and blacks on the Nashville frontier.
With introductions by Caroll Van West explaining each chapter’s place within boarder trends, Trial and Triumph is a provocative work that will help general readers and students to better appreciate events too often overlooked by standard accounts. These readings clearly show how the people, places, and events of the state’s African American history point the way to new narratives of Tennessee history itself.