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novels about slavery

mlouisalocke
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novels about slavery

Post by mlouisalocke » Sat November 20th, 2010, 11:10 pm

My favorite fiction that deals with slavery are Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January series. While Benjamin is a free black, the stories do deal with slavery, and the free black population of New Orleans, and the cultural differences towards slavery and people of color between the French and Spanish and the American's who take over after War of 1812. Her first book is A Free Man of Color, and in her fourth, Sold Down the River, Benjamin actually spends time as a slave on a plantation. Very powerful stuff.

Two books that are not fiction, but autobiographies, but must reads for anyone interested in this subject are Frederick Douglass, A Narrative in the Life of a Slave

or Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Both books prove the old adage that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Mon November 22nd, 2010, 11:23 am

[quote=""Amanda""]Beloved by Toni Morrison. I haven't read any other of her works but I would think she would deal with it in other works to.[/quote]

Slavery (and the aftermath effects) provide the backdrop for most of Morrison's work.

I would also recommend Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl.

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Post by bevgray » Thu February 2nd, 2012, 11:20 pm

Band of Angels by Robert Penn Warren. It's an older book from the mid-20th century. It is the story of a woman raised as the daughter of a white plantation owner in Ante-Bellum Kentucky. When her father dies, she learns that her mother was his slave. She's taken down river and sold in New Orleans. It was a bit racy for it's time due to the subject matter but it gives an interesting perspective. Some of you may be familiar with the film made from the book that starred Clark Gable, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Sidney Poitiers.
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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Fri February 3rd, 2012, 11:05 am

All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann.

A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.

It's based on a true story and it's pretty good but I felt the author took some liberties with her "facts" in the Author's Notes. She basically claims she found Margaret's family on the 1830 US Census which proves that they were free since they were listed as such. But there is no conclusive proof that it is indeed Margaret's family since the 1830 census only recorded the head of the household's name, which would have been Margaret's husband (assuming they were indeed free). But we don't actually know what Margaret's husband name was so there is no way to know for sure that this was her family.

This is the second time I've taken issue with an author's notes making factual statements about inconclusive evidence. Historical fiction readers rely on the author's notes to separate fact from fiction but with authors now taking liberties with what is actually factual, it could lead to a lot of misinformed readers.

Sorry, that's a little off topic but had to be said. As for the novel itself, it was good but not great. It uses the increasing trend of swapping between first and third person and it was also written in present tense, neither of which I'm a fan of. But Margaret's story was pretty moving, even if it's not entirely her own story, elements of it were probably the experiences of many other slaves.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Fri February 3rd, 2012, 3:18 pm

Sorry, that's a little off topic but had to be said. As for the novel itself, it was good but not great. It uses the increasing trend of swapping between first and third person and it was also written in present tense, neither of which I'm a fan of. But Margaret's story was pretty moving, even if it's not entirely her own story, elements of it were probably the experiences of many other slaves.
That's pretty much how I felt about it, good but not earth shattering. It was one of the better kindle freebies I've picked up.
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Post by Misfit » Tue February 7th, 2012, 5:38 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann.

A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.

It's based on a true story and it's pretty good but I felt the author took some liberties with her "facts" in the Author's Notes. She basically claims she found Margaret's family on the 1830 US Census which proves that they were free since they were listed as such. But there is no conclusive proof that it is indeed Margaret's family since the 1830 census only recorded the head of the household's name, which would have been Margaret's husband (assuming they were indeed free). But we don't actually know what Margaret's husband name was so there is no way to know for sure that this was her family.

This is the second time I've taken issue with an author's notes making factual statements about inconclusive evidence. Historical fiction readers rely on the author's notes to separate fact from fiction but with authors now taking liberties with what is actually factual, it could lead to a lot of misinformed readers.

Sorry, that's a little off topic but had to be said. As for the novel itself, it was good but not great. It uses the increasing trend of swapping between first and third person and it was also written in present tense, neither of which I'm a fan of. But Margaret's story was pretty moving, even if it's not entirely her own story, elements of it were probably the experiences of many other slaves.[/quote]

BTW, this book is free today on Kindle.
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Storm Clouds Rolling In

Post by SandyJ » Sun June 10th, 2012, 4:20 pm

Storm Clouds Rolling In is by far the best novel I've ever read about slavery, the South, the Civil War, and the reality of life at that time. The best thing is that the book is FREE. The author, Ginny Dye, is giving away this first book in The Bregdan Chronicles. There are 4 finished. Book # 5 comes out this Fall. I LOVED Storm Clouds Rolling In, and am loving Book # 2 (On to Richmond). Claim your free book at http://www.BregdanChronicles.com.

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Post by EC2 » Sun June 10th, 2012, 9:03 pm

I recently read The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen and thought it was very good - about slave parents whose daughter gets to live a free life and be educated, and is involved in helping out with the underground railroad during the American Civil War - based on a true story so the blurb says. I enjoyed it.
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Post by rockygirl » Tue June 12th, 2012, 2:16 am

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

It has a different title in the US. A Canadian friend recommended it to me, so I bought the Canadian version.

I don't think Hill has written a lot yet (but, if this book is any indication, he has the capacity to be big!), so the American equivalent shouldn't be that hard to find.

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Post by J.D. Oswald » Tue June 12th, 2012, 8:30 am

Two works written by freed slaves in the late 1700s are Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species by Ottobah Cugoano (also called John Stuart) in 1787 and The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African in 1792. Both of these were trying to influence the growing campaign against the slave trade in England at the time.

For example, Cugoano tells of how he was kidnapped by fellow Africans and how he saw slaves having their teeth pulled out for stealing a piece of sugar cane. He also argues that 'If there was no other way to deliver a man from slavery, but by enslaving his master, it would be lawful for him to do so if he was able, for this would be doing justice to himself, and be justice, as the law requires, to chastise his master for enslaving of him wrongfully.'

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