“Seizing the New Day is a good book, carefully researched, logically organized, and clearly written. . . . an excellent model for others who would study change at the local level in this fascinating period of American history. And the volume is handsomely illustrated with well-chosen photographs, drawings, and maps.”—H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences
For former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, life was a constant struggle adjusting to freedom while battling whites' attempts to regain control. Using autobiographies, slave narratives, Freedmen's Bureau letters and papers, and other primary documents, Wilbert L. Jenkins attempts to understand how the freedmen saw themselves in the new order and to shed light on their hopes and aspirations. He emphasizes, not the defeat of these aspirations, but rather the victories the freedmen won against white resistance.