Joshua D. Rothman

About the Author

Joshua D. Rothman

Joshua D. Rothman is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama. He is the author, most recently, of Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson (2012), and is currently working on a book about the slave traders Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard.

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Am I Not a Man and a Brother?Anti-slavery medallion. Josiah Wedgwood, 1787 (Photo: British Museum)

Fashion Statement as Political Statement: The Antislavery Movement and “I Can’t Breathe”

Amidst the protest movement that has taken shape in the weeks since grand juries in Missouri and New York determined not to indict police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, few elements have been more visible than the wearing of black t-shirts emblazoned with the words that have emerged as the movement’s slogan and rallying cry.