Freedom Center Journal


This essay explores the author's attempt to find a truer Northern identity, different from the one taught in school. It looks at Cincinnati during America’s Antebellum period, a historical period generally seen as one marked by “a nation polarized by specific regional identities. The South held a pro-slavery identity . . . while the North largely held abolitionist sentiments and opposed the institution’s westward expansion.” During this period, Ohio’s constitution may have been anti-slavery, however, the state’s Black Codes, race riots, and anti-abolitionist sentiments told a different story than Ohio’s constitution. The darker history of Antebellum Cincinnati often goes untold, even in the region, but an understanding of this historical context helps to explain many aspects of Cincinnati’s present.