My Favorite Books on American Slavery III

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup: No I haven’t watched the movie. But this book will leave you breathless. A free man is lured into slavery in the deep south. Northrup’s struggle along with those who met in slavery will leave you angry and proud at how American slaves and their ancestors have NEVER fled America. Off topic if you go the Van Cortlandt House Museum in the Bronx for a tour ask to see the slave quarters behind the nurser. This is not on the regular tour so you must request a viewing. The room looks exactly like the sleeping quarters Northrup describes living in Louisiana.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe: this is the first book I read about slavery and I recommend the book. Yes it is fiction, but Stowe clearly did her research. I now understand why this book caused so much controversy at the time it was published. It is a brutal psychological novel that delves deep into slavery. So for those who like to throw around the term “Uncle Tom” please stop. If you read the book you will understand the psychological impact of why Tom is the way he is and that calling someone an Uncle Tom shows you know little about history. NOTE: this book is in the public domain. You can download it for free using Kindle.

Check out my TED Talk “Discovering My American Ethnicity and Identity”