The Family and Slavery
THE BLACK FAMILY IN SLAVERY AND FREEDOM, 1750-1925 by Gutman, Herbet (Pantheon Press, 1976)
Drawing on primary documents, including marriage records, plantation accounts, and census schedules, this text reconsiders the conclusions of earlier scholarship, which downplayed or denied the importance of family ties among slaves. The book goes on to examine the beliefs and behaviors African-American families used to adapt to circumstances both before and after emancipation.
STOLEN CHILDHOOD: SLAVE YOUTH IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA by Wilma King (Indiana University Press, 1995)
This text reveals how African-American parents and their children demonstrated strength and resilience in the face of a system that denied black children a real childhood. The book focuses on the experiences of enslaved youth in the context of their family, work, play, leisure, education, and religion.
Gender and Slavery
LABORING WOMEN: REPRODUCTION AND GENDER IN NEW WORLD SLAVERY by Jennifer Morgan (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004)
This study investigates the ideological underpinnings of slavery and examines the slave woman's role as worker and mother.
AR'N'T I A WOMAN? FEMALE SLAVERY IN THE PLANTATION SOUTH Deborah Gray White (W.W. Norton revised edition, 1999)
This groundbreaking study examines the role of women in the slave family, analyzes the intersection of race and gender, and discusses the black woman's experience of freedom under reconstruction.
Slavery's Impact on the Government of the United States
THE SLAVEHOLDING REPUBLIC: AN ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT'S RELATIONS TO SLAVERY by Don Fehrenbacher, edited by Ward M. McAfee. (Oxford University Press, 2001)
This text looks at the Constitution's position on slavery, concluding that while the document itself is neutral, U.S. policy in the Antebellum period was unequivocally pro-slavery. The author investigates congressional debates on the constitutionality of slavery and America's clashes with Britain over enslavement practices. The book ends with an illuminating examination of Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Civil War.
BLACK OVER WHITE: NEGRO POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN SOUTH CAROLINA DURING RECONSTRUCTION by Thomas Holt (University Interscholastic League Press, 1977)
This prize-winning volume in the BLACKS IN THE NEW WORLD series looks at the individual African-American men who participated in the reconstruction government. The text considers the degree of influence black politicians held and the methods these men employed to overcome opposition and gain power within the system.
Slave Living Conditions
THE SLAVE COMMUNITY: PLANTATION LIFE IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH by John W. Blassingame (Oxford University Press revised and enlarged edition, 1979)
This book provides an interdisciplinary study of various facets of slave life, including African heritage, culture, family, and religion. It was one of the first books to address life under slavery from the slave's point of view rather than from the slaveholder's.
"I, TOO, AM AMERICAN": ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIFE by Theresa A. Singleton (University Press of Virginia, 1999)
This collection of essays emerges from the belief that an understanding of colonial America must encompass both the European and African experience. The authors employ archaeological discoveries to initiate discussion of issues ranging from race and gender to class and power.
Slave Education and Slave Culture
SLAVE CULTURE: NATIONALIST THEORY & THE FOUNDATIONS OF BLACK AMERICA by Sterling Stuckey (Oxford University Press, 1987)
This text suggests that Africa was the chief influence on slave consciousness and practices and attempts to explain how a diversity of African ethnicities generated a single culture in America. The book looks at religious ritual, dance, song, and other forms of cultural expression.
DEEP LIKE THE RIVERS: EDUCATION IN THE SLAVE QUARTER COMMUNITY, 1831-1865 by Thomas Webber (W.W. Norton Press, 1978)
Through an exploration of education among slaves in the mid-19th century, the author of this book suggests that African Americans actively preserved and nurtured their values and sheltered their children from the evils of slavery for as long as possible. The text relies heavily on the oral history narratives of former slaves collected under the WPA.
GENERATIONS OF CAPTIVITY: A HISTORY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN SLAVES
by Ira Berlin (Harvard University Press, 2003)
Most Americans, black and white, have a singular vision of slavery, one fixed in the mid-19th century when most American slaves grew cotton and resided in the Deep South. In this text, however, Berlin offers a major reinterpretation of established perception, arguing that slaves and their owners continually renegotiated the terms of captivity.
Religion and Slavery
WORKING CURES: HEALING, FAITH, AND POWER ON SOUTHERN SLAVE PLANTATIONS by Sharla Fett (University of North Carolina, 2002)
This book examines the health issues of slaves, stressing the significant role enslaved women played with respect to keeping the members of the plantation community healthy. The text argues that African-derived healing practices such as herbalism and conjuring were forms of indirect resistance that instilled in slaves a sense of independent authority.
SLAVE RELIGION: THE INVISIBLE INSTITUTION IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH by Albert Raboteau (Oxford University Press, 1978)
This text is essential for studying the development of African American religion in the pre-Civil War period.
Freedom and Emancipation
RUNAWAY SLAVES: REBELS ON THE PLANTATION by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweniger (Oxford University Press, 2000)
This book documents the nature of slave escapes in the antebellum south using primary source material, including newspaper ads and court records.
WATER FROM THE ROCK: BLACK RESISTANCE IN A REVOLUTIONARY AGE by Sylvia R. Frey (Princeton University Press, 1991)
This work complicates the picture of black involvement in the Revolutionary War by suggesting that it was actually a three-sided conflict in which blacks used the opportunity presented by the Loyalist-Patriot rift to attain freedom.
HOLY WARRIORS: THE ABOLITIONISTS AND AMERICAN SLAVERY by James Brewer Stewart (Hill and Wang Press Revised Edition, 1997)
This text surveys the most significant contributions to the study of abolition in America. It explores the different types of abolitionists, examines the relationships between black and white abolitionists, and investigates the impact abolition had on the fate of the slave system.
RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION 1863-1877 by Eric Foner (Perennial Press, 1988)
Foner's classic, comprehensive study is based on extensive use of archival and secondary sources. This text redefined previous treatments of what black and white Americans experienced during Reconstruction.