Author: Norman R. Yetman
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Release Date: 2012-03-01
Genre: Literary Collections
DIVMore than 2,000 former slaves provide first-person accounts in blunt, simple language about their lives in bondage. Illuminating, often startling information about southern life before, during, and after the Civil War. /div
I was born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away. My father was a carpenter, and considered so intelligent and skilful in his trade, that, when buildings out of the common line were to be erected, he was sent for from long distances, to be head workman. On condition of paying his mistress two hundred dollars a year, and supporting himself, he was allowed to work at his trade, and manage his own affairs. His strongest wish was to purchase his children; but, though he several times offered his hard earnings for that purpose, he never succeeded. In complexion my parents were a light shade of brownish yellow, and were termed mulattoes. They lived together in a comfortable home; and, though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded of them at any moment. I had one brother, William, who was two years younger than myself—a bright, affectionate child. Such were the unusually fortunate circumstances of my early childhood. When I was six years old, my mother died; and then, for the first time, I learned, by the talk around me, that I was a slave. My mother's mistress was the daughter of my grandmother's mistress. She was the foster sister of my mother; they were both nourished at my grandmother's breast. In fact, my mother had been weaned at three months old, that the babe of the mistress might obtain sufficient food. They played together as children; and, when they became women, my mother was a most faithful servant to her whiter foster sister. On her death-bed her mistress promised that her children should never suffer for any thing; and during her lifetime she kept her word. They all spoke kindly of my dead mother, who had been a slave merely in name, but in nature was noble and womanly. Reader, my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage. I and my children are now free! We are as free from the power of slaveholders as are the white people of the north; and though that, according to my ideas, is not saying a great deal, it is a vast improvement in my condition. The dream of my life is not yet realized. I do not sit with my children in a home of my own, I still long for a hearthstone of my own, however humble. I wish it for my children's sake far more than for my own. But God so orders circumstances as to keep me with my friend Mrs. Bruce. Love, duty, gratitude, also bind me to her side. It is a privilege to serve her who pities my oppressed people, and who has bestowed the inestimable boon of freedom on me and my children. It has been painful to me, in many ways, to recall the dreary years I passed in bondage. I would gladly forget them if I could. Yet the retrospection is not altogether without solace; for with those gloomy recollections come tender memories of my good old grandmother, like light, fleecy clouds floating over a dark and troubled sea.
Twelve Years a Slave (1853) is a memoir and slave narrative by Solomon Northup, as told to and edited by David Wilson. Northup, a black man who was born free in New York, details his kidnapping in Washington, D.C. and subsequent sale into slavery. After having been kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana by various masters, Northup was able to write to friends and family in New York, who were in turn able to secure his release. Northup's account provides extensive details on the slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans and describes at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.
Author: Caitlin Rosenthal
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2018-08-06
Caitlin Rosenthal explores quantitative management practices on West Indian and Southern plantations, showing how planter-capitalists built sophisticated organizations and used complex accounting tools. By demonstrating that business innovation can be a byproduct of bondage Rosenthal further erodes the false boundary between capitalism and slavery.
Author: David W. Blight
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2009-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Two slave narratives that document the experiences of runaway slaves who managed to reach the protection of Union forces are accompanied by biographies of both men that reconstruct their childhoods, escape, Civil War service, and successful later lives.
New York Times Bestseller “A profound impact on Hurston’s literary legacy.”—New York Times “One of the greatest writers of our time.”—Toni Morrison “Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece.”—Alice Walker A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States. In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War. Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.
Author: Albert J. Raboteau
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2004-10-07
Twenty-five years after its original publication, Slave Religion remains a classic in the study of African American history and religion. In a new chapter in this anniversary edition, author Albert J. Raboteau reflects upon the origins of the book, the reactions to it over the past twenty-five years, and how he would write it differently today. Using a variety of first and second-hand sources-- some objective, some personal, all riveting-- Raboteau analyzes the transformation of the African religions into evangelical Christianity. He presents the narratives of the slaves themselves, as well as missionary reports, travel accounts, folklore, black autobiographies, and the journals of white observers to describe the day-to-day religious life in the slave communities. Slave Religion is a must-read for anyone wanting a full picture of this "invisible institution."
Author: William Francis Allen
Publisher: Applewood Books
Release Date: 1867
Originally published in 1867, this book is a collection of songs of African-American slaves. A few of the songs were written after the emancipation, but all were inspired by slavery. The wild, sad strains tell, as the sufferers themselves could, of crushed hopes, keen sorrow, and a dull, daily misery, which covered them as hopelessly as the fog from the rice swamps. On the other hand, the words breathe a trusting faith in the life after, to which their eyes seem constantly turned.
Author: Frederick Douglass
Publisher: Big Nest via PublishDrive
Release Date: 2015-09-15
One of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life.
The true story behind the acclaimed movie 12 Years a Slave, this book is based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was captured in the United States and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Solomon Northup awoke in the middle of the night with his body trembling. Slowly, he realized that he was handcuffed in a dark room and his feet were chained to the floor. He managed to slip his hand into his pocket to look for his free papers that proved he was one of 400,000 free blacks in a nation where 2.5 million other African Americans were slaves. They were gone. This remarkable story follows Northup through his 12 years of bondage as a man kidnapped into slavery, enduring the hardships of slave life in Louisiana. But the tale also has a remarkable ending. Northup is rescued from his master's cotton plantation in the deep South by friends in New York. This is a compelling tale that looks into a little known slice of history, sure to rivet young readers and adults alike. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.
Enslaved African Americans longed for freedom, and that longing took many formsincluding music. Drawing on biblical imagery, slave songs both expressed the sorrow of life in bondage and offered a rallying cry for the spirit. Like a Bird brings together text, music, and illustrations by Coretta Scott King Awardwinning illustrator Michele Wood to convey the rich meaning behind thirteen of these powerful songs.
“A ruthlessly honest personal story and a devastating critique of contemporary American culture.” — Seattle Times A “searingly honest self-exploration”* of the experience and psyche of the Asian American male, including Tizon’s stunning final article, “My Family’s Slave” Shame, Alex Tizon tells us, is universal—his own happened to be about race. To counteract the steady diet of American television and movies that taught Tizon to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height, he turned outward. (“I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me.”) Tizon illuminates his youthful search for Asian men who had no place in his American history books or classrooms. And he tracks what he experienced as seismic change: the rise of powerful, dynamic Asian men like Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang, actor Ken Watanabe, and NBA starter Jeremy Lin. Included in this new edition of Big Little Man is Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave”—2017’s best-read digital article. Published only weeks after Tizon’s death in 2017, it delivers a provocative, haunting, and ultimately redemptive coda. * New York Times “Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book From highly acclaimed author Jenkins and Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Blackall comes a fascinating picture book in which four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history. In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by an enslaved girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego. Kids and parents alike will delight in discovering the differences in daily life over the course of four centuries. Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research. From the Hardcover edition.