Fortress Press

Celebrating Juneteenth: The continued fight for a more perfect union. Celebrating Juneteenth: The continued fight for a more perfect union.

Join us in acknowledging the essential role Black Americans played in building our country as we explore together the need for continued conversations around justice and racial equality.

Black Hands, White House: Slave Labor and the Making of America

Black Hands, White House

Slave Labor and the Making of America

By Renee K. Harrison

In Black Hands, White House author Renee K. Harrison documents the role enslaved women and men played in building the US. In addition to building the country’s physical infrastructure, she reviews how their work enriched the material wealth of this nation and its founding fathers and bolstered the wealth of present-day companies founded during the American slave era.

Given the enslaved community’s contribution to the United States, Harrison questions the absence of memorials that honor enslaved, Black-bodied people, arguing that such monuments are necessary to redress the nation’s historical disregard of Black people.

In exploring how nation-building and racism combined to create racial disparity, readers are better able to significantly discuss race relations, history-making, reparations, and monument erection and removal.

Renee K. Harrison

About the Author

Renee K. Harrison is an associate professor of African American and US religious history at Howard University. She joined the School of Divinity faculty in the fall of 2010. She is the author of Enslaved Women and the Art of Resistance in Antebellum America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and coauthor, with Jennie Knight, of Engaged Teaching in Theology and Religion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Learn more about Dr. Harrison

Dr. Renee K. Harrison discusses what inspired her to write Black Hands, White House and why we need to hold the U.S. accountable for its role in the subjugation and exploitation of Black people.

This micro-documentary explores the involuntary sacrifice of Black people and the need to acknowledge their lives and contributions to the United States.

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