Dissertation title: Credit Is Due: African Americans as Borrowers and Lenders in Antebellum Virginia
Amanda White Gibson is a doctoral candidate at the College of William and Mary. Her research uncovers the credit market experiences of those most vulnerable to the externalities associated with the slavery-based capitalist economy. It describes enslaved and free African Americans’ use of credit from the American Revolution to the Civil War; how enslaved individuals borrowed to free themselves, what happened when they did not pay debts imposed on them by the jail system, and free and enslaved African Americans’ employment of credit at stores and banks. It also attempts to describe how African Americans in Virginia conceived of debt in their own lives, for example using debt, with varying degrees of success, as a tool to distance themselves from slavery and racial oppression.
Post-fellowship placement: Post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study for American Democracy at Kenyon College