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Note on Language Freedom’s Seekers offers alternative meanings and broader definitions of terms in the spirit of comparative methodology. It employs the terms “selfemancipators ” and “self-liberators” rather than “fugitives,” “runaways,” and “escapees” used by contemporaries and scholars. The former provide a more accurate reflection of what slaves wanted rather than the latter which reflect the language of the propertied class. Besides, the former viewed themselves as fugitives from moral injustice rather than legal justice. I like to use the phrase barefoot plebiscite to describe slaves’ voting on the system of slavery with their feet. I have used it in the past to describe self-emancipators in the antebellum United States. Here is it employed more broadly across regions, time, and genders . I prefer the term ante-emancipation to ante-bellum because the latter has a specific U.S. connotation in contrast to the former, which offers a broader comparative meaning. Besides, it compliments post-emancipation which is the preferred term in this book to post-bellum. I have adapted the phrase freedom’s first generation from the U.S. context to provide a broader comparative framework for understanding the generational experiences of ex-slaves throughout the hemisphere. I have not used the phrase race relations because the book’s emphasis is on the experiences and lives of those who sought freedom in comparative perspective. This page intentionally left blank ...


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