Slavery, Narratives

1619 Project: A New Origin Story

1619 Project: A New Origin Story

$38.00
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In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country's original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States. The New York Times Magazine's award-winning "1619 Project" issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation's founding and construction--and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life. Contributors: Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dorothy Roberts, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Leslie Alexander, Michelle Alexander, Jamelle Bouie, Martha S. Jones, Carol Anderson, Ryan Stevenson, Trymaine Lee, Linda Villarosa, Anthea Butler, Wesley Morris, Jeneen Interlandi, Kevin M. Kruses, Ibram X. Kendi. Created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. Publisher: One World. Hardcover, 590 pages. Measures 6.25" x 9.5". Weighs: 1 lb. 15.8 oz. 
American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era

American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era

$23.00
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"The ghosts of the Civil War never leave us, as David Blight knows perhaps better than anyone, and in this superb book he masterfully unites two distant but inextricably bound events."―Ken Burns Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, a century after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King, Jr., declared, "One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free." He delivered this speech just three years after the Virginia Civil War Commission published a guide proclaiming that "the Centennial is no time for finding fault or placing blame or fighting the issues all over again." David Blight takes his readers back to the centennial celebration to determine how Americans then made sense of the suffering, loss, and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. Amid cold war politics and civil rights protest, four of America's most incisive writers explored the gulf between remembrance and reality. Robert Penn Warren, the southern-reared poet-novelist who recanted his support of segregation; Bruce Catton, the journalist and U.S. Navy officer who became a popular Civil War historian; Edmund Wilson, the century's preeminent literary critic; and James Baldwin, the searing African-American essayist and activist--each exposed America's triumphalist memory of the war. And each, in his own way, demanded a reckoning with the tragic consequences it spawned. Blight illuminates not only mid-twentieth-century America's sense of itself but also the dynamic, ever-changing nature of Civil War memory. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the war, we have an invaluable perspective on how this conflict continues to shape the country's political debates, national identity, and sense of purpose. Publisher: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Paperback, 314 pages. Measures 5.5" x 8.5" x 0.75". Weighs 15.7 oz. 
Embattled Freedom: Journey through the Civil War's Refugee Camps

Embattled Freedom: Journey through the Civil War's Refugee Camps

$32.50
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The Civil War was just days old when the first enslaved men, women, and children began fleeing their plantations to seek refuge inside the lines of the Union army as it moved deep into the heart of the Confederacy. In the years that followed, hundreds of thousands more followed in a mass exodus from slavery that would destroy the system once and for all. Drawing on an extraordinary survey of slave refugee camps throughout the country, Embattled Freedom reveals as never before the everyday experiences of these refugees from slavery as they made their way through the vast landscape of army-supervised camps that emerged during the war. Amy Murrell Taylor vividly reconstructs the human world of wartime emancipation, taking readers inside military-issued tents and makeshift towns, through commissary warehouses and active combat, and into the realities of individuals and families struggling to survive physically as well as spiritually. Narrating their journeys in and out of the confines of the camps, Taylor shows in often gripping detail how the most basic necessities of life were elemental to a former slave's quest for freedom and full citizenship. The stories of individuals--storekeepers, a laundress, and a minister among them--anchor this ambitious and wide-ranging history and demonstrate with new clarity how contingent the slaves' pursuit of freedom was on the rhythms and culture of military life. Taylor brings new insight into the enormous risks taken by formerly enslaved people to find freedom in the midst of the nation's most destructive war. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Paperback, 349 pages. Measures 6" x 9.25" x 0.75". Weighs 1 lb 3.2 oz. 
Freedom in My Heart: Voices from the United States National Slavery Museum

Freedom in My Heart: Voices from the United States National Slavery Museum

$14.95
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Unlike any other book on the market today, this richly illustrated companion volume uses the remarkable artifacts, images, and documents of the United States National Slavery Museum to trace the entire history of slavery in North America, from the societies of ancient Africa to the repercussions still faced by Americans today--and to celebrate the perseverance and ultimate triumph of a people. Freedom in My Heart goes beyond the textbooks to call forth the unique voices, personal stories, and cultural contributions of slaves and their descendants, demonstrating how enslaved African Americans remained free at heart to develop a vibrant culture in the face of unspeakable inhumanity. Following a foreword by L. Douglas Wilder, the grandson of former slaves and the first African-American elected governor of a U.S. state, ten compelling chapters offer the often unheard testimony of those who witnessed slavery and those whose ancestors endured it. Their voices blend with the contributions of such luminaries as South African leader Nelson Mandela, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, noted journalist Juan Williams, entertainers Bill Cosby and Ben Vereen, and many more. This partnership with the National Slavery Museum grants exclusive access to never-before-seen images, personal letters, and artifacts, which shed new light on slavery and the activities surrounding it. As the museum nears its opening, numerous press events and online features will publicize the book, giving unprecedented exposure at a time of great anticipation and interest. Edited by Cynthia Jacobs Carter. Foreword by L. Douglas Wilder. Publisher: National Geographic. Hardcover, 255 pages. Measures 9.5" x 11"x0.75". Weighs: 2 lb. 13.4 oz.
Heroes of the Underground Railroad Around Washington, DC

Heroes of the Underground Railroad Around Washington, DC

$21.99
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Many of the unsung heroes of the Underground Railroad lived and worked in Washington, D.C. Men and women, black and white, operatives and freedom seekers - all demonstrated courage, resourcefulness and initiative. Leonard Grimes, a free African American, was arrested for transporting enslaved people to freedom. John Dean, a white lawyer, used the District courts to test the legality of the Fugitive Slave Act. Anna Maria Weems dressed as a boy in order to escape to Canada. Enslaved people engineered escapes, individually and in groups, with and without the assistance of an organized network. Some ended up back in slavery or in jail, but some escaped to freedom. Anthropologist and author Jenny Masur tells their stories. Publisher: History Press. Paperback, 189 pages. Measures 6" x 9" x 0.5". Weighs 14.3 oz.
Under the Freedom Tree

Under the Freedom Tree

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Taut free verse tells the little-known story of the first contraband camp of the Civil War--seen by some historians as the "beginning of the end of slavery in America." One night in 1861, three escaped slaves made their way from the Confederate line to a Union-held fort. The runaways were declared "contraband of war" and granted protection. As word spread, thousands of runaway slaves poured into the fort, seeking their freedom. These "contrabands" made a home for themselves, building the first African American community in the country. In 1863, they bore witness to one of the first readings of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South--beneath the sheltering branches of the tree now known as Emancipation Oak. Author: Susan VanHecke. Illustrator: London Ladd. Publisher: Charlesbridge. Hardcover, 32 pages. Measures: 9" x 11.25"x0.25". Weighs: 15 oz.