From Enslaver to White Savior: The Blackford Family and the Memory of the American Colonization Society
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
History and American Studies
Department Chair or Program Director
Major or Concentration
Part of the same family but with a generation dividing them, Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford and her grandson, Launcelot Minor Blackford Junior, shared much of the same sentiment toward the American Colonization Society (ACS). Mary, active in the ACS before the Civil War, supported the organization despite criticisms wielded by abolitionists of the period. Mary looked to the ACS for salvation from discussions about the morality of enslavement while enjoying the comforts that the thought of an all-white America brought her. Launcelot, writing fifty years after Mary’s passing at the beginning of an emerging national conversation about Black civil rights, looked to the memory of Mary to absolve his family of contributions to the Confederate cause and combat new conversations about race in America. Mary and Launcelot, though from different periods in American history, looked to the ACS and its memory to imagine a world where they had no complicity in racial oppression while supporting a movement that’s main mission resisted Black perspectives and progress in the United States.
Dhue, Helen, "From Enslaver to White Savior: The Blackford Family and the Memory of the American Colonization Society" (2023). Student Research Submissions. 513.