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Recommended Reading


THE BOOK OF SARAH – POEMS BY AMY BENSON BROWN – TURNING POINT ISBN 9781936370344 A compelling narrative of the life of the nineteenth-century abolitionist and feminist, Sarah Moore Grimke, which touches on issues of racism and slavery, feminism and second-class citizenship, bringing the reader to a precise historical moment. The book of poems is as one critic has stated “breathtaking to read”. And I agree, speaking as a descendant of the people described here.

MY FIRST WHITE FRIEND – PATRICIA RAYBON – PENGUIN ISBN 0-14-024436-0 Renowned African American journalist Patricia Raybon comes face-to-face with her race-driven impulses and legacies in this powerful story that is part journal, part memoir, part social commentary. She realises her rage would not be remedied by stoking her hatred for whites… but by loving them, by learning to love herself.

ARCHIBALD GRIMKE – PORTRAIT OF A BLACK INDEPENDENT – DICKSON D BRUCE JR – LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS ISBN 0-8071-1796-X “A very readable book which traces Archibald’s life from the family’s struggle to survive in antebellum Charleston to the time when his political and oratorical skills were recognised as he fought against racial injustice and inequality. “I am proud to be a descendant of Archibald’s” – Bill Drayton

LIFT UP THY VOICE – THE GRIMKE FAMILY’S JOURNEY FROM SLAVEHOLDERS TO CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS – MARK PERRY – PENGUIN ISBN 0-14-200103-1 “A powerful narrative history of an important American family and the times in which they lived. Perry manages to balance his clear admiration for the Grimkes and his flair for telling a good story with sophisticated historical analysis.” – New Orleans Times Picayune

SISTERS AND BROTHERS – JANET STEVENSON – CROWN ASIN B000IZT6Y8 “The novel Sisters and Brothers can be read by everyone concerned by the crucial civil rights movement of today even though it takes place in the past. The “sisters” of the title are Sarah and the renovwned Angelina Grimke, golden orator of the Abolitionists. After the Civil War, Angelina, discovers two young “brothers”, Archy and Frank Grimke, who are in a college for black students and are the sons of her own brother Henry and one of his house slaves, Nancy Weston” – Bill Drayton

THE POWER OF WOMAN – PAMELA R. DURSO – MERCER ISBN 0-86554-876-5 Most books and articles dealing with the Grimke sisters focus on Angelina, and no biography has been written of Sarah. This is the first book-length treatment of Sarah’s life and work, and as such is indispensable reading for those interested in women’s studies, racism, suffrage history, and religious history.

CHARLESTON – JOHN JAKES – PENGUIN ISBN 0-451-20733-5 Jake paints a powerful portrait of the Charleston aristocracy who zealously guard their wealth and privilege – while harbouring dark secrets that threaten to destroy them all. Peopled by a sprawling cast of memorable characters – patriots and cowards, aristocrats, and abolitionists, slaves and freedmen, heroic men and courageous women – Charleston represents America’s premier storyteller at his very best.

SLAVE NARRATIVES 1936-1938 SOUTH CAROLINA – PREPARED BY THE FEDERAL WRITERS PROJECT – APPLEWOOD BOOKS / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ISBN 1-55709-023-8 The slave narrative sound recordings, manuscript materials, and photographs are invaluable as windows through which we can observe and be touched by the experiences of slaves who lived in the mid-19th century. At the same time, these archival materials are the fruits of an extraordinary documentary effort of the 1930s. The federal governement, as part of its response to the Great Depression, organized unprecented national inititives to document the lives, experiences and cultural traditions of ordinary Americans.

BURY THE CHAINS – ADAM HOCHSCHILD – PAN BOOKS ISBN 0-330-48581-4 The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery: The dramatic story of a handful of men who defied the slave trade and ignited the first great human-rights movement.

ROUGH CROSSINGS – SIMON SCHAMA – BBC BOOKS ISBN 0-563-49365-8 Britain, The Slave and The American Revolution: The astonishing story of the struggle for freedom by thousands of African American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the War of Independence.

SLAVES IN THE FAMILY – EDWARD BALL – PENGUIN ISBN 0-140-27579-7 “Winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Non-Fiction” …Edward Ball tells the true story of the people who worked on his ancestors’ lands – of the wealth and privilege, the violence and oppression, the dynastic struggles and sexual exploitation. It is a unique and moving portrait of five generations of blacks and whites living side by side.

NO CHARIOT LET DOWN – CHARLESTON’S FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR ON THE EVE OF THE CIVIL WAR – MICHAEL P. JOHNSON AND JAMES L. ROARK – W W NORTON ISBN 0-393-95524-9 The thirty-four letters in No Chariot Let Down offer a rich and unparalleled portrait of Charleston’s free Afro-American elite on the eve of the Civil War. Written by members of the William Ellison family, the letters comprise the only extant collection of a sustained correspondence of a free black family in the late antebellum South.

BLACK MASTERS – A FREE FAMILY OF COLOR IN THE OLD SOUTH – MICHAEL P. JOHNSON AND JAMES L. ROARK – W W NORTON ISBN 0-393-30314-4 “Never before have I found the experience of the free slaveholding caste of antebellum Negros brought to life in such vibrant detail. To be able to detect what Henry James called the ‘density of felt experience’ behind the enigmatic details of the letters is indeed a scholarly achievement of a high order and, I think, a contribution to all who would grasp the complexity of our American past.” – Ralph Ellison

BLACK SLAVEOWNERS – LARRY KOGER – UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA PRESS ISBN 1-57003-037-5 “Artfully demonstrates the full extent of slaveholding among the free blacks of antebellum South Caronlina. Moreover, Koger shows that black mastership involved not only the benevlent wardship of kin but also ‘commercial’ investment in slaves as labor and capital.” – Choice

A WOMAN CALLED MOSES – A NOVEL BASED ON THE LIFE OF HARRIOT TUBMAN – MARCY HEIDISH – HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY ISBN 0-395-21535-8 The raider known as Moses had returned to guide more runaways North, slipping past patrols even as higher rewards were offered and legends grew about this mysterious figure… Here is the little known story of a great American woman told as if Harriot were speaking, and her words are unforgettable. The story is based on historical fact, but by letting Harriot tell it Marcy Heidish brings us inside the mind of a compelling character: earthy, mystical, shrewd, vulnerable, and always uncannily real.

OUT OF SLAVERY – NARDIA FOSTER – REDCLIFFE PUBLISHING ISBN 10 0954742001, ISBN 13 978-0954742003 Learning about the history of black Caribbean people.

VOICES AGAINST SLAVERY – CATHERINE HOUSE – CHRISTIAN FOCUS PUBLICATIONS ISBN 10 1845501454, ISBN 13 978-1845501457 Slave markets unseen by most of the world destroy countless young lives. This work introduces ten voices that spoke out for freedom. These men and women come from different times and different backgrounds but they have one voice – a Christian voice – a voice against slavery.

HEALING AMERICA’S WOUNDS – JOHN DAWSON – REGAL BOOKS ISBN 0-8307-1693-9 ‘I believe that God has always wanted to make a prophetic statement through the American Church in the midst of a world hopelessly stuck in ancient animosities. I believe that the dream in the heart of Jesus is to demonstrate a prototype of what has been considered impossible: All the cultures of the world reconciled to each other and serving one another with their gifts.’ (John Dawson)

WIT, WILL & WALLS – BETTY KILBY FISHER – CULTURAL INNOVATIONS, INC ISBN 0-9725709-0-X This is the story of little Betty Ann Kilby an infant plaintiff and her role in the history-making drama of her fight for a high school education. It is also the story of Betty Ann Kilby Fisher: a powerful woman of God, wife, mother, grandmother and professional woman in her search to find her purpose in life. This historical figure is dynamic, passionate, and inspirational, she will take you on a wild roller-coaster ride with her high-energy and exciting story.

THE LITTLE BOOK OF TRAUMA HEALING – CAROLYN YODER – GOOD BOOKS ISBN 1-56148-507-1 “The primary premise and challenge of this book is that traumatic events and times have the potential to awaken the human spirit and, indeed, the global family. But this requires acknowledging our own history and that of the enemy, honestly searching for root causes, and shifting our emphasis from national security to human security.” – YODER. A startlingly helpful approach.

PERSONAL MEMOIR OF DANIEL DRAYTON – DANIEL DRAYTON – KESSINGER PUBLISHING ISBN 1-4191-4094-9 His own account of his trial and conviction for attempting to rescue slaves by ship from Washinton.

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