A personally curated list of books I’ve read and help me understand what my ancestors experienced and why American society is the way it is today. All links lead to Amazon.
- New York Burning: New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan by Jill Lepore: A thrilling CSI-type novel on an alleged slave revolt that reveals that resulted in death, mayhem, and the effects of white fear on American Descendants of Slaves that we inherited today.
- Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup: A compelling novel of not just the trials and tribulations of a kidnapped Northrup, but the systemic psychological terror slaves he encountered during his ordeal.
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs: The plight many American Female Slaves faced being the property of white men who forced themselves on these women whenever, where ever. The subject of the book had to hide in a small attic for years to avoid her pursuer.
- Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis: The best book on the political mechanisms of chattel slavery I’ve read to date. Davis goes from slavery in the ancient world and explains in detail how African slavery that began with Portugal in the 15th Century was radically different from any form of the institution in the past. I finally understood the pervasive anti-Black racism that not just permeates American culture, but global culture in general.
- The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor: I finally understand why American history books often glaze over the War of 1812. It was an utter hot mess on the East Coast. I found myself laughing uncontrollably at the antics! Between American slaves and the British off the coast, American military persons were played thoroughly. Woo, Jefferson made a big mistake defunding the military during his presidency!
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L! Baldwin had SAYS IT PLAIN, and READS the American white power structure down to it’s lowest common denominator SUCCINCTLY.
- Be Free or Die: Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls’ Escape from Slavery to Union Hero by Cate Lineberry: Robert Smalls was one of the most famous Americans during the Civil War, yet today he has all be written out of history by education publishers. Perhaps this is because the brave and daring life he lived outshines that Abraham Lincoln and even the legendary John Brown. Do yourself a favor read this book, I pump my chest out even further about my Americanness after reading this biography.
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