Books About Slavery

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Introduction: Slavery is the condition of being forced into bonded labor, without a properwage or work conditions.
America was witness to such slavery before the Civil War in 1861, and a number of books were written about this period. Some of these are:

1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin: by Harriet Beecher Stowe:
Published in 1852, this book helped lay the foundation of the American Civil War. Itscentral character, Uncle Tom, is a long-suffering black slave. This dramatic tale depicts the harsh realities of slavery and stereotypes toward the black people in the United States of America.

2. Twelve Years a Slave: by Solomon Northop: In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northop (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from New York, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.This is the true story of this man’s life as a slave and his struggle for freedom.

3. Narrative Life Of Fredericks Douglass: An American Slave: by Fredericks Douglass: An 1845 chronicle and thesis on elimination, this book is the true story of the life of Fredericks Douglass as a slave. In this autobiography, the author recounts how he recollects each day of his life.

4. Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl: by Harriet Ann Jacobs:An autobiography of a young mother and escapee slave, this is the story of how a slave gained freedom for herself and her children.It also tells the tale of sexual abuse that female slaves were forced into.

5. Slavery By Another Name: The Re- Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War Two by Douglas A Blackmon: This book exploresthe obligatorylabor of black men and women through the convict lease system used bystates, local governments, white farmers and corporationsafter the American Civil War until World War Two.

6. Up from Slavery: by Booker T Washington: This 1901 autobiography deals with the author’s life as a slave child during the American Civil War. His story portrays the difficulties he overcame to rise from slavery to go on to pursue a university degree.A highly motivational book and goes to show that perseverance is the key to success.

7. Beloved: by Toni Morrison: Set after the American Civil War, this is the story of Margaret Garner, an Afro-American slave, who freed herself from slavery and fled to KentuckytoOhio, a free state.

8. Roots: The Saga of an American Family by: Alex Haley: A novel written in 1976, this book tells the tale of KuntaKinte, an eighteenth century African, who was sold into slavery at adolescence. From the life KuntaKinte lived as a slave, the book follows his descendants, right down to Haley.

9. Disposable People: by Kevin Bales: Slavery is illegal worldwide, yet there are still places where people are being forced into slavery. In his book Disposable People, Bales talks about modern day slavery and how it is an old grave dug up from the time of the American Civil War.

10. The Fiery Trail:Abraham Lincoln andAmerican Slavery by Eric Foner: A historical non-fiction book written by Eric Foner, this is a biological portrait of American President Abraham Lincoln’s perspective on slavery in the United States during his lifetime.The book derives its title from a State of the Union addressed by Lincoln. It studies Lincoln’s speeches and writings about slavery during his time of Presidency during the American Civil War.


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