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In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  26 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
"The black experience in the antebellum South has been thoroughly documented. But histories set in the North are few. In the Shadow of Slavery, then, is a big and ambitious book, one in which insights about race and class in New York City abound. Leslie Harris has masterfully brought more than two centuries of African American history back to life in this illuminating new ...more
Paperback, 387 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by University Of Chicago Press (first published February 2nd 2003)
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Henry
Nov 13, 2008 Henry rated it liked it
I found this book quite interesting because throughout American History, we don't hear much about Slavery in NYC rather than we learn and hear more about slavery in the south and in the periods before the civil war. This book provides another lens for historians to look through because it focuses only on the slaves and slavery in NYC. I found it very interesting when the author began talking about African American burial grounds found right here in manhattan. There were also a lot of different a ...more
Lupe
Dec 11, 2013 Lupe rated it did not like it
I don't understand how anyone can like this book at all. This is the worst book I have ever read in my life. I would rather sit through a Twilight marathon have it followed by an erotic literature book club meeting than read this again.

3 Reasons Why I HATE It:

1.)

Harris repeats the same thing too many times. I remember reading the line "men, women, children both white and black" a ridiculous amount of times.

I understand that there are times when repetition is needed because it helps the reader
...more
Lauren
Aug 19, 2016 Lauren added it
Shelves: research
Fantastic book on a subject that is not discussed and needs to be. It didn't depress me as much as I thought it would. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I loved how the author pointed out the key differences between New York slaves and antebellum southern slaves. New York's racial history is contradictory to say the very least.
Steven Drachman
Nov 04, 2012 Steven Drachman rated it it was amazing
This book was an eye-opening experience for me, covering an aspect of slavery that is usually overlooked in our culture. It seems to me not only a definitive book that is a reliable source, but it is also one that is highly readable, and it should appeal not only to scholars of the subject but to popular readers as well.
Sarah
Aug 22, 2016 Sarah added it
I really regret that it took me so long to find Leslie Harris's 2004 history of African-American life in New York City. WOW. This is crucial background for anyone trying to understand our city in general, and specifically the racism that pervades today. From the first moment that black people were brought to New York (even as a Dutch colony) as slaves, they were punished for acting African. The Europeans' obsession with repressing Difference is a main motivator for many structures of city life i ...more
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