Author: Toni Morrison
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
A Muslim American Slave
Author: Omar Ibn Said
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
Born to a wealthy family in West Africa around 1770, Omar Ibn Said was abducted and sold into slavery in the United States, where he came to the attention of a prominent North Carolina family after filling “the walls of his room with piteous petitions to be released, all written in the Arabic language,” as one local newspaper reported. Ibn Said soon became a local celebrity, and in 1831 he was asked to write his life story, producing the only known surviving American slave narrative written in Arabic. In A Muslim American Slave, scholar and translator Ala Alryyes offers both a definitive translation and an authoritative edition of this singularly important work, lending new insights into the early history of Islam in America and exploring the multiple, shifting interpretations of Ibn Said’s narrative by the nineteenth-century missionaries, ethnographers, and intellectuals who championed it. This edition presents the English translation on pages facing facsimile pages of Ibn Said’s Arabic narrative, augmented by Alryyes’s comprehensive introduction, contextual essays and historical commentary by leading literary critics and scholars of Islam and the African diaspora, photographs, maps, and other writings by Omar Ibn Said. The result is an invaluable addition to our understanding of writings by enslaved Americans and a timely reminder that “Islam” and “America” are not mutually exclusive terms. This edition presents the English translation on pages facing facsimile pages of Ibn Said’s Arabic narrative, augmented by Alryyes’s comprehensive introduction and by photographs, maps, and other writings by Omar Ibn Said. The volume also includes contextual essays and historical commentary by literary critics and scholars of Islam and the African diaspora: Michael A. Gomez, Allan D. Austin, Robert J. Allison, Sylviane A. Diouf, Ghada Osman, and Camille F. Forbes. The result is an invaluable addition to our understanding of writings by enslaved Americans and a timely reminder that “Islam” and “America” are not mutually exclusive terms. Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
"Focusing on slave revolts that took place in Barbados in 1816, in Demerara in 1823, and in Jamaica in 1831-32, Matthews identifies four key aspects in British abolitionist propaganda regarding Caribbean slavery: the denial that antislavery activism prompted slave revolts, the attempt to understand and recount slave uprisings from the slaves' perspectives, the portrayal of slave rebels as victims of armed suppressors and as agents of the antislavery movement, and the presentation of revolts as a rationale against the continuance of slavery. She makes use of previously overlooked publications of British abolitionists to prove that their language changed over time in response to slave uprisings.".
The United States began as a slave society, holding millions of Africans and their descendants in bondage, and remained so until a civil war took the lives of a half million soldiers, some once slaves themselves. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves explores how the history of slavery and its violent end was told in public spaces—specifically in the sculptural monuments that came to dominate streets, parks, and town squares in nineteenth-century America. Looking at monuments built and unbuilt, Kirk Savage shows how the greatest era of monument building in American history took place amid struggles over race, gender, and collective memory. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves probes a host of fascinating questions and remains the only sustained investigation of post-Civil War monument building as a process of national and racial definition. Featuring a new preface by the author that reflects on recent events surrounding the meaning of these monuments, and new photography and illustrations throughout, this new and expanded edition reveals how monuments exposed the myth of a "united" people, and have only become more controversial with the passage of time.
This study offers a new and challenging look at Christian institutions and practices in Britain’s Caribbean and southern American colonies. Focusing on the plantation societies of Barbados, Jamaica, and South Carolina, Nicholas M. Beasley finds that the tradition of liturgical worship in these places was more vibrant and more deeply rooted in European Christianity than previously thought. In addition, Beasley argues, white colonists’ attachment to religious continuity was thoroughly racialized. Church customs, sacraments, and ceremonies were a means of regulating slavery and asserting whiteness. Drawing on a mix of historical and anthropological methods, Beasley covers such topics as church architecture, pew seating customs, marriage, baptism, communion, and funerals. Colonists created an environment in sacred time and space that framed their rituals for maximum social impact, and they asserted privilege and power by privatizing some rituals and by meting out access to rituals to people of color. Throughout, Beasley is sensitive to how this culture of worship changed as each colony reacted to its own political, environmental, and demographic circumstances across time. Local factors influencing who partook in Christian rituals and how, when, and where these rituals took place could include the structure of the Anglican Church, which tended to be less hierarchical and centralized than at home in England; the level of tensions between Anglicans and Protestants; the persistence of African religious beliefs; and colonists’ attitudes toward free persons of color and elite slaves. This book enriches an existing historiography that neglects the cultural power of liturgical Christianity in the early South and the British Caribbean and offers a new account of the translation of early modern English Christianity to early America.
Slaves and Englishmen
Author: Michael Guasco
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Technically speaking, slavery was not legal in the English-speaking world before the mid-seventeenth century. But long before race-based slavery was entrenched in law and practice, English men and women were well aware of the various forms of human bondage practiced in other nations and, in less systematic ways, their own country. They understood the legal and philosophic rationale of slavery in different cultural contexts and, for good reason, worried about the possibility of their own enslavement by foreign Catholic or Muslim powers. While opinions about the benefits and ethics of the institution varied widely, the language, imagery, and knowledge of slavery were a great deal more widespread in early modern England than we tend to assume. In wide-ranging detail, Slaves and Englishmen demonstrates how slavery shaped the ways the English interacted with people and places throughout the Atlantic world. By examining the myriad forms and meanings of human bondage in an international context, Michael Guasco illustrates the significance of slavery in the early modern world before the rise of the plantation system or the emergence of modern racism. As this revealing history shows, the implications of slavery were closely connected to the question of what it meant to be English in the Atlantic world.
Author: Anna Ruston
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Ltd.
The Sunday Times top ten bestseller... You're not going home. You're not going anywhere. You're mine now. Growing up in a deeply troubled family, 15-year-old Anna felt lost and alone in the world. So when a friendly taxi driver befriended her, Anna welcomed the attention, and agreed to go home with him to meet his family. She wouldn't escape for over a decade. Held captive by a sadistic paedophile, Anna was subjected to despicable levels of sexual abuse and torture. The unrelenting violence and degradation resulted in numerous miscarriages, and the birth of four babies... each one stolen away from Anna at birth. Her salvation arrived thirteen years too late, but despite her shattered mind and body, Anna finally managed to flee. This is her harrowing, yet uplifting, true story of survival.
Author: Don Jordan, Michael Walsh
Publisher: NYU Press
White Cargo is the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in Britain's American colonies. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 white people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London's streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide "breeders" for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock. Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh demonstrate that the brutalities usually associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence, but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history. This is a saga of exploration and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. White Cargo brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface.
Revolutionary Subjects in the English "Jacobin" Novel engages ongoing debates on subject-formation and rights discourse through the so-called "English Jacobin" novels. Ostensibly celebrating the universal rights-bearing subject, these political novels inadvertently also questioned the limitations of such universalist conceptions. Including works by both men and women, and those normatively identified as radical alongside others considered more conservative or even "anti-Jacobin," this work examines the shared efforts to represent developing political consciousness and to inculcate such consciousness in readers across a reformist continuum. These novels' efforts to expand the citizen-subject threatened to reveal the cost implicit in accessing subjectivity on universal terms. The sovereign subject modeled as the ideal republican radical subject is undercut, even revealed as inadequate or impossible, in subversive narrative moments in these fictions--not always in line with the work's overt "moral." If the concept of human rights appears both necessary and inadequate in 2009, it was likewise problematic at the moment of its greatest appeal in the revolutionary 1790s. Miriam L. Wallace is Associate Professor of British and American literature at New College of Florida.
This is a study that digs deeply into this 'other' slavery, the bondage of Europeans by North-African Muslims that flourished during the same centuries as the heyday of the trans-Atlantic trade from sub-Saharan Africa to the Americas. Here are explored the actual extent of Barbary Coast slavery, the dynamic relationship between master and slave, and the effects of this slaving on Italy, one of the slave takers' primary targets and victims.