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Let's Blog About It! > Is American slavery as we know it, one-dimensional?

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message 1: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Nov 19, 2013 09:35AM) (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Since myself and a few other of our group members began reading Twelve Years a Slave I have renewed my obsession with American slavery. Those of you who don't know, slavery is my favorite genre. I have read countless books on the subject for many years and what I love about it is that every time I think I know everything there is to know about the subject I find out that I don't. With this book I found out I knew nothing about slaves being kidnapped (aside from Kunte Kinte's generation!).

But There is something else that Northup made me realize. I've realized that I have never read a slave book written in the narration of the actual slaveholder! Would I be the only person interested in that subject? Would I lose my black card for even caring about the white man's perspective of slavery? Well, I have realized that we (or maybe I) have been getting a very one-sided, one-dimensional outlook on slavery.

As long-winded as that was, what I am asking is, do any of you know any slavery books that is written in the pov of a slaveholder, slaveholder wife/child?


message 2: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments Very interesting kisha. Wash includes the slaveholders voice as one of the main narratives. I didn't particularly enjoy that one though. There is The Known World that includes a black slave ownder's perspective. I can't think of any others right now. I hope someone else can.


message 4: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Exactly what I was looking for! How'd I know you'd be the one with answer?! Lol. I don't know how you read so many books!

And yes, Wash didn't particularly peak my interest. I couldn't finish it.


message 5: by Londa (last edited Nov 19, 2013 09:58AM) (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments I haven't read either of those... yet! :0) and I hope you get some more suggestions, so I can add them to my TBR list.


message 6: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Haha! Great! I'm reading the excerpt from it now on Amazon.


message 7: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments You two crack me up. I thought I was the only slave story junky, but you two have me beat.


message 8: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
R.E. wrote: "You two crack me up. I thought I was the only slave story junky, but you two have me beat."


Ha! It's so educational and I dont really understand why it peaks my interest so! I always tell the story about how when I was 8 years old my mom's then boyfriend thought he'd punish me for being "ungrateful" by forcing me and my sister to watch the full complete miniseries of roots! My sister to this day don't get into very much but for me, that opened a whole can of worms! It wasn't punishment I loved it! And nearly obsessed with the movie. So his mission didn't work lol. I think it's an important part of history and is so taboo yet so interesting.


message 9: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments I vehemently deny that R.E!

*please ignore Jubilee on my 'currently reading' list :o)


message 10: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments kisha wrote: "my mom's then boyfriend thought he'd punish me for being "ungrateful" by forcing me and my sister to watch the full complete miniseries of roots..."

Guess what I made all my teenage nieces and nephews, and my youngest brother watch when they stayed the summer with me... YEP! Roots! I was outraged they hadn't seen it. LOL I have also encouraged watching The Color Purple and Imitation of Life


message 11: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Jubilee was a good one! I read that when all my peers were reading Sweet Valley High hehe!


message 12: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
lol, my fiance hates when I put in The Color Purple, my absolute favorite movie! And I couldn't imagine trying to get my kids to watch roots lol if it isn't futuristic 3d they have no understanding lol.


message 13: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments My movie was Glory..loved it and still do


message 14: by Londa (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments kisha wrote: "lol, my fiance hates when I put in The Color Purple, my absolute favorite movie! And I couldn't imagine trying to get my kids to watch roots lol if it isn't futuristic 3d they have no understandin..."

Color Purple is my favorite movie too! Like a lot of folks, I have it memorized! I have read the movie, watched the play, and read the book. I watch it at least once or twice a year.

Oh, none of the kids were excited about starting Roots. I have the DVD collection, and we watched one DVD every night. By the 2nd or 3rd night they would be asking me to hurry up so they could start the movie LOL


message 15: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments The color purple is almost a comedy...it has some great lines.


message 16: by Londa (last edited Nov 19, 2013 11:59AM) (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 1526 comments R.E. wrote: "The color purple is almost a comedy...it has some great lines."

Comedy, drama, tragedy, history...it has it all! That's why I love it.

R.E. wrote: "My movie was Glory..loved it and still do"

Ooh! That's a good one. I need to add it to my 'educating younguns' itinerary.


message 17: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments Confession.... Ive never seen all of roots. I watched it in high school but i cut class a few times.


message 18: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Nov 19, 2013 12:25PM) (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
R.E. wrote: "Confession.... Ive never seen all of roots. I watched it in high school but i cut class a few times."

*long gasp* That's one of the commandments isn't it? Thou shalt watch Roots! lol


message 19: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments It should be...lol. My wife doesn't do movies longer than two hours let alone 3 nights.


message 20: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
haha well looks like you have to watch it alone! It's a must watch! Although I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the book.


message 21: by R.E. (new)

R.E.  Carter (papasmurf1911) | 46 comments Lol.... I started to read it and I checked out. Because of all the research i did on slavery I have so much crammed in my head I feel like its about to explode. I'm starting to get more into the Harlem Renaissance , and not just the books and poetry but the people behind it all. Alain Lockes's essay a new Negro is so on the money right now.


message 22: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Yes! That's my favorite movement if you will. Hmmm we will have to do a buddy or group read on that. Langston Hughes is my favorite from the Harlem Renaissance movement.


message 23: by Felipe (new)

Felipe Fernandez | 13 comments I think that slavery, like anything else, had many facets. The more you examine it, the more possibilities become realistic. Overall, it was a horrible part of man's history. But it is possible that at times masters and slaves became close. The slaves in my novels have been free men and pirates for years now. Meticulous records were kept on all transactions so the king was assured to get his taxes. While raiding a compound in Mexico, they examine the records and discover where their first two children went, who they were sold to. The father and son are debating who gets to kill this man while the mother just wants her kids back and free. They are shocked to discover that this man actually was a good man. He bought their children and many more. He took them north just to give them a good home and education, away from slavery. They are really shocked when their kids refuse to leave this feeble old man as he has been kind to them and he needs them now as he is dying. I'll lace them back into the story later, when he passes.


message 24: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Exactly what I was looking for! How'd I know you'd be the one with answer?! Lol. I don't know how you read so many books!

And yes, Wash didn't particularly peak my interest. I couldn't finish..."


One of my projects for years has been studying the history of slavery in the US and Caribbean. So have read many fiction and non-fiction books over the years. And as the saying goes is the only thing new is the history yet to learn.

I also read Wash and at times it was a painful read but it is a necessary story that needs to be told. It dealt with an issue of slavery that is often not openly discussed - slave breeding. I also thought that the book dealt with the issue of how humanity was stripped from the enslaved people and the many ways the slaves tried to hold on to their humanity and/or reinvent themselves to have some solace in their lives.


message 25: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments I am currently reading Slavery's Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons by Sylviane A. Diouf

Although well-known, feared, celebrated or demonized at the time, the maroons whose stories are the subject of this book have been forgotten, overlooked by academic research that has focused on the Caribbean and Latin America. Who the American maroons were, what led them to choose this way of life over alternatives, what forms of marronage they created, what their individual and collective lives were like, how they organized themselves to survive, and how their particular story fits into the larger narrative of slave resistance are questions that this book seeks to answer.


message 26: by Donna (last edited Dec 30, 2013 04:19PM) (new)

Donna (donnavance1) | 11 comments "The Book of Night Women" also talks about the Maroons, but the Nanny Town Maroons or Accompong(sp?)of Jamaica, not those of North Carolina/Va. That book also gives a glimpse at an overseer's viewpoint. Slavery is one of my favorite topics also, and I enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction. Many times I find that fiction spurs an interest to explore nonfictitious elements. For example, the premise of "Wash" -- human breeding during slavery -- led me to find out about a town in Alabama whose commodity was not cotton, or tobacco but humans. Another book, fiction, that shared a slave mistress' POV was "Property" by Valerie Martin. I enjoyed that book a lot, particularly reading this white woman's feelings and discovery that she was as much enslaved as the subject.


message 27: by Peter (last edited Dec 27, 2013 08:00PM) (new)

Peter Schwartz | 1 comments Howdy. I've enjoyed reading all of the thoughtful and lively comments. A few ideas for books from the perspective of wealthy, slave-owning Southern women before and during the Civil War. The most well-known is Mary Chesnut's diary, edited by Yale historian C. Vann Woodward.

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Chesnuts-C...

There is also Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman.

http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Morgan-Ci...

And finally, Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861-1868.

http://www.amazon.com/Brokenburn-Jour...

All combine commentary on slavery, race relations, Southern society and culture, and domestic and gender relations from the perspective of articulate, well-educated (for the period) white Southern women.

Hope this helps!

Peter


message 28: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Thanks Peter just what I was looking for. And how could I forget about The Book of Night Women! That's my favorite book. And I'm definitely interested in reading more about the Maroons.


message 29: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1078 comments I am a big fan of BookTV (CSpan2) and American History TV (CSpan3) as they do a good job of including books relating to AA history in their schedules.
Here are a couple of the programs scheduled for this weekend (Feb 8- Feb 10th) that I will be recording. Most of them will show several times over the weekend or you can always watch them on the website.

Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah (CSpan2)
Ishmael Beah talks about his novel about life in Sierra Leone following the Civil War that ended in 2002. Beah was a child soldier in the civil war and wrote about his experiences in the memoir, "A Long Way Gone." This event was held at Book People in Austin, Texas.

"Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class" (CSpan2)
Ian Haney Lopez, a senior fellow at Demos, argues that politicians regularly use veiled racist appeals when discussing issues like crime, immigration, and entitlements to gain white and poor voter support. He spoke about the topic, the subject of his latest book, at The Strand bookstore in New York City.

Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center: Gary Peller, "Critical Race Consciousness: Reconsidering American Ideologies of Racial Justice" (CSpan2)
In "Critical Race Consciousness," Professor Gary Peller argues that the roots of the crisis facing the African-American community today can be found in the struggle between liberal integrationists and black nationalists during the 1960s and 1970s. He discussed his book with Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. This interview is part of Book TV's College Series.

"The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World" (CSpan2)
Greg Grandin, history professor at New York University, recounts a slave revolt at sea and the subsequent discovery of the ship by New England seal hunter, Captain Amasa Delano, in the South Pacific in 1805. Greg Grandin speaks with New Yorker writer Phillip Gourevitch at the New York Public Library in New York City.

"The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era" (CSpan2)
Douglas Egerton, history professor at LeMoyne College, presents a history of America during Reconstruction. The author reports that during this time close to 1,500 African-Americans assumed public office; including the first African-American U.S. Senators, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey and Jasper J. Wright who sat on South Carolina’s Supreme Court. Douglas Egerton speaks at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Slavery and the Myth of Race (CSpan3)
Historian and author Jacqueline Jones discusses her latest book, “A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America” at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Professor Jones argues that “race” does not exist and was created as a justification and rationalization for slavery.


message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) I'm very interested in this subject, too. I found slave ancestors on my tree. Also, Black and White owners. I've been researching both sides because both are in my family. It's easy finding NF sources about both when you go to the genealogy department of libraries. Every household was different and I wish the media would make that known.


message 31: by Carl (new)

Carl Waters (carl_waters) | 81 comments Kisha have you read?

47 by Walter Mosley 47 or
Moses The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman Book 1 by Balogun Ojetade Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman: Book 1

These are much different from typical slavery stories. I enjoyed them both.


message 32: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Carl, I haven't heard of either books but I am now adding them. Thanks for the recommendations.


message 33: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2423 comments Mod
Just read this interesting article: 6 Common Misconceptions About the Enslavement of African People


http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/02/1...


message 34: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Thanks for the link lulu. Therer were some interesting facts there too. Especially about the rebellions which I have on my list of things to research.


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