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Weeping No More
April 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Southern Black Women and the U.S. Pension Bureaucracy
This talk will explore how southern black women artfully navigated the U.S. pension bureaucracy to gain recognition as Union widows. Based on her extensive research of black soldiers’ wives and widows at the National Archives, Dr. Brandi Brimmer will reconstruct the pension application process and evidentiary obstacles newly freed black women faced in their attempt to claim and maintain their position on the pension roster. Over the course of the presentation, she will demonstrate how these women utilized the U.S. pension bureaucracy to air their grievances and remake widowhood on their own terms.
Brandi C. Brimmer is a historian of African Americans in the United States with a particular interest in women/gender, racial formation, and sexuality in late-nineteenth-century America. Her book-in-progress analyzes black women’s relationship to the U.S. legal system and to federal institutions in post-Civil War America. Brimmer’s articles have appeared in the Journal of the Civil War Era and the Journal of Southern History. She is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Geography at Morgan State University. Her talk this afternoon will explore the life, labors, and travails of black women who had to artfully negotiate the U.S. pension bureaucracy to gain legal recognition as a Union widow.