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The Slaves Have Names: Ancestors of My Home

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
They lived with professors and waited on former presidents. They were masons and nurses, school teachers and field hands, 246 people owned by a man who struggled with the institution of slavery. Yet, almost no one knows their names.

When a white woman begins to study the history of the plantations these people built, the plantations where she was raised, she discovers that
Paperback, 262 pages
Published November 28th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published November 22nd 2013)
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Feb 04, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
Although some may call it history, I’d label this book a meditation inspired by the land on which Cumbo-Floyd lives. Formerly a plantation worked by slaves, her home at Bremo includes remnants of those days, some buildings, a stone wall, a slave cemetery. These led her to seek the stories of the people who lived here before. In her extensive research, she found that Information is scarce, often only a first name and an occupation--spinner, field hand, driver, etc.--on a census or inventory list. ...more
Karrie Higgins
Nov 06, 2014 Karrie Higgins rated it it was amazing
In the second chapter of "The Slaves Have Names," Andi tells the story of one Halloween night when she invited several friends to the Bremo plantation for a sleepover in the barn. At one point, she and her friends venture into the slave cemetery. "I either didn't think to bring flashlights," she writes, "or purposely left them to heighten the spooky factor. It's mighty dark in the country, can't see your hand in front of your face when there's not a moon. Creepier on Halloween for sure."

One of
Mar 29, 2014 Noreen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Andi takes on a challenging subject in this book—slavery, and creates a work that is meditative, thoughtful, and very interesting. Although there isn’t much written history preserved for in-depth stories of the people who were slaves at this place called Bremo, Andi manages to write a complex story. She gives many of these people a story based on her careful, and thorough research, and her thoughts on how such an institution could have survived as long as it did. Andi begins each chapter with a ...more
Andrea Luhman
Aug 27, 2014 Andrea Luhman rated it it was ok
Shelves: this-was-so-bad
Right away the author Andi Cumbo-Floyd tells you how important this topic is to her. She explains how she formed a connection to the dead slaves who built the plantation she was raised on. How the thoughts and historical research into their lives helped pull her through a grieving process in her life.
I wanted to like this book and I thought for sure I would because I’m fond of the author as a person. However, I don’t like the book. I hate it when I feel like I am the only person being honest wi
Chad Johnston
Jun 08, 2014 Chad Johnston rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
When Andi Cumbo set out to write the research memoir, "The Slaves Have Names," she faced the seemingly impossible task of bringing the largely forgotten past of Bremo Plantation—and specifically, the lives of its slaves—to life. But somehow, she succeeded in doing so.

The flow of the book reminds me a lot of a good documentary, interspersing cobbled-together historical remnants of the lives of slaves—sparse biographies that Cumbo fleshes out with fiction in order to further humanize her subjects
Sharry Miller
Dec 18, 2013 Sharry Miller rated it really liked it
Andi Cumbo Floyd was compelled to write The Slaves Have Names: Ancestors of My Home by a need to ensure that the enslaved people who built her home were not forgotten forever. While Andi may not have known a great deal about the enslaved men and women who built the Bremo plantations on which she was raised, she was nonetheless able to bring them to life by describing the times and places in which they lived, as well as by providing us images of what they might have been like as individuals ...more
Melissa Dempsey
Jun 11, 2015 Melissa Dempsey rated it it was amazing
These are people I know and find hard to leave behind. The stories of the enslaved souls Andi Cumbo-Floyd writes about, through extensive research and informed imagination, take on dimension and breath. They linger. Prompted by the slaves' cemetery on the property of the home where she lives, inspired by the names left on the headstones; she sets out on a quest of sorts. To give back the lives which were so brutally stolen by the Slave Trade for our economy. To clothe in dignity those who had ...more
Brenda Lee
Jan 21, 2014 Brenda Lee rated it it was amazing
I loved the way in which the author chose to imagine and visualize the lives of many of the slaves on Bremo Plantation. The records left of the Bremo Slaves are minimal, but she pulls out the most interesting/important facts to create a vision of their life so you can imagine life on the plantation. I especially enjoyed her descriptions of her travels to the places where she was hoping to learn more about the slaves lives in other parts of the country. The suspense, of wondering what she would ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it
This author has done her research on a difficult topic. She approaches this with dignity and respect. Her level of professionalism is incredible. Her story telling is impressive considering the limitations of her subject. She doesn't give us easy answers to who these people were and why they did what they did. When there are a lack of answers, she imagines various scenarios that could fit the facts. This lets us see how many ways that history can be read. This is fascinating for the research and ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing
It was like reading a family saga. Very nice story. I enjoyed how the author told the story and her use of supposition. Each name, each story, had its own chapter. With so little for the author to work with, I felt like "yeah, that's probable." It truly felt, for me, like a beloved family member telling me our family history. This should be something students should read as part of a history class. Nicely done.
Robert Lackey
Jul 15, 2015 Robert Lackey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in small town history and a personal experience with slaves
Reading this was like having a friend share their journal, and then having a conversation with someone who actually knew the slaves. I enjoyed reading about an area I was topographically familiar with, but neither historically nor personally. Andi left me feeling I had lived there. Similar to Earl Hamner's attention to character feelings.
Ashley (Apt Reader)
Aug 13, 2015 Ashley (Apt Reader) rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I found this book very interesting and at times very poignant and thoughtful. I wish there was more information about the people or have a more solid flow as the words "I imagine" is used so frequently it becomes redundant and annoying at times. For those interested in the Civil War and American slavery, I'd recommend this piece of narrative nonfiction.
Jan 10, 2016 Margi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-own
I can only imagine how the author felt researching this book, as I found myself near tears several times reading it. A very important piece of work, to give names and stories to some of the slaves who built this country.
Donald Fields
Jun 01, 2015 Donald Fields rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The slaves have names

Awesome this book so cool
Denise Murray
Nov 17, 2016 Denise Murray rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Bringing to life experiences builds understanding & compassion. This is important work!
Naomi Brignola-van calster
Apr 26, 2016 Naomi Brignola-van calster rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-stories

I love this book! Starting out on facts, the author weaves a story around characters. While not creating a fiction story, and keeping the line between fact and imagination very clear.

Not a fictional novel, neither is it a book with lots of factual information about any of the characters. a lot of facts were lost or simply never recorded.

It's like you're standing in the slave graveyard listening to Andi dreamily tell the stories of the people buried there. She starts out with facts and then trie
Jan 09, 2015 Tasha rated it it was ok
This is a collection of shorts about various slaves who lived on the property this author and her family inhabit. The information in the book is good, but it's difficult to read at times. As would be expected, the author needed to do a great deal of research for compilation of this data. Yet, even in doing this, there were many blank spots and lots of missing information. In far too many spaces, there were statements to the effect of her being unable to determine whether the person she was ...more
JoAnne Silvia
Aug 05, 2016 JoAnne Silvia rated it it was amazing
When I bought this book, I had no idea how much it would move me. I was curious about the personal histories of enslaved people. It turns out that the history is not easy to find. By the middle of the book, I felt I was searching with Andi Cumbo-Floyd, looking over her shoulder in the courthouses and libraries, and celebrating with her when puzzle pieces fit together. It is an arduous process trying to find information on the lives of people history has all but forgotten. But the author is ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Anne rated it it was ok
Tedious. Mournful. Unique. I was hoping this was more about the research of slave ancestors and genealogy and less about the authors personal feelings. Another reviewer had it right when she said this is more of a meditation and less a research history.
Kathi rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
Marcia Ray
Marcia Ray rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2014
Sharon rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2014
Jen rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2016
Anne King
Anne King rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Lindis rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2014
Shawn Smucker
Shawn Smucker rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2015
Tom Devlin
Tom Devlin rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2015
pam schroeder
pam schroeder rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2016
Beth Richter
Beth Richter rated it liked it
Feb 13, 2014
sophia kershaw
sophia kershaw rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2015
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I’m a writer, an editor, a farmer, and a reader. My newest book - Charlotte and the Twelve: A Steele Secrets Story - If you like a good ghost story, some mystery, small town tales, or books about justice and history, I hope you'll check it out.

I write mainly creative nonfiction and sometimes get something published. Most often I just get rejection letters that I dutifully file because some day I’
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