272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 halftones, 1 map
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6222-0
Published: February 2021
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6221-3
Published: February 2021
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-6223-7
Published: January 2021
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Awards & distinctions
2021 Letitia Woods Brown Prize, Association for Black Women Historians
2022 Pauli Murray Book Prize, African American Intellectual History Society
Honorable Mention, 2022 Darlene Clark Hine Award, Organization of American Historians
Finalist, 2022 Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize
Shortlisted, 2021 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award
Consulting newspapers, government documents, letters, abolitionist records, legislation, and memoirs, Tamika Y. Nunley traces how Black women navigated social and legal proscriptions to develop their own ideas about liberty as they escaped from slavery, initiated freedom suits, created entrepreneurial economies, pursued education, and participated in political work. In telling these stories, Nunley places Black women at the vanguard of the history of Washington, D.C., and the momentous transformations of nineteenth-century America.
About the Author
Tamika Y. Nunley is associate professor of history at Cornell University.
For more information about Tamika Y. Nunley, visit the Author Page.
“A focused study on the way that Black women have transcended slavery. . . . Well-researched.”--Library Journal
"Nunley makes an incredible contribution to the field of the study of African American women in the nineteenth century. She leaves her readers with an irrefutable understanding of the centrality of Black women in the establishment of the capital’s reputation as a site of liberty and justice for all...[An] impressively cohesive study exemplifies the duality of Black women’s and girls’ lived experiences in the capital at a pivotal turning point in the political project of nation-making."--Black Perspectives
"Tamika Nunley's wonderful book puts remarkable women at the center of African Americans’ struggle for full freedom in the nation's capital."--Chris Myers Asch, co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital
"Tamika Y. Nunley has written a nuanced, humane, and powerful history of Black women's freedom-making in Washington, D.C. At the Threshold of Liberty is a major contribution."--William G. Thomas III, author of A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War