1st Edition

Black Abolitionists in Ireland Volume 2

By Christine Kinealy Copyright 2024

    Building on the narratives explored in volume one, this publication recovers the story of a further seven Black visitors to Ireland in the decades prior to the American Civil War.


    This volume examines each of these seven activists and artists, and how their unique and diverse talents contributed to the movement to abolish enslavement and to the demand for Black equality. In an era that witnessed the rise of minstrelsy, they provided a powerful counter argument to the lie of Black inferiority. Moreover, their interactions with Irish abolitionists helped to build a strong transatlantic movement that had a global reach and impact.  The lives explored are: Ira Aldridge (the African Roscius), William Henry Lane (Master Juba), William P. Powell, Elizabeth Greenfield (the Black Swan), Reuben Nixon, James Watkins and William H. Day. Individually and collectively they demonstrated the agency and power of Black involvement in the search for social justice.


    This book will be of value to students and scholars alike interested in modern European history and social and cultural history.

    1. Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) ‘A Stranger No More’  2.  Henry Lane. (c. 1825-c.1851) ‘He Danced Himself to Death’  3. William P. Powell  (1807 - c.1879) ‘A black son of Neptune’  4. Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield (c.1824-1876). ‘Be Strikingly Genteel’  5. Reuben Nixon (dates unknown).   ‘An Incorrigible Imposter’  6. James Watkins (c. 1821 -). ‘The black ghost’  7. William Howard Day (1825-1900). ‘A Disenfranchised  8. After Thoughts


    Christine Kinealy is the Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University and is on the Board of the African American Irish Diaspora Network. She is an authority on nineteenth-century Irish history, with a focus on the Great Famine and the Irish abolition movement. Her award-winning publications include Frederick Douglass and Ireland: In His Own Words (2018).