Yale Historian David Blight Discusses His Book 'A Slave No More'

This event was held on November 8, 2007 at Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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During the past few years, two new slave manuscripts have surfaced. Each is an authentic, handwritten memoir of the escape to freedom of a young male slave during the Civil War. David Blight, Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University and the nation's leading expert on race during and after the Civil War, was commissioned to combine these narratives into his book, "A Slave No More." Blight will discuss his newly published groundbreaking work. The event will include a book signing, with books for sale courtesy of Shaman Drum Bookshop. Cosponsored by the UM Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, the UM Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and the UM Program in American Culture

Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post-Civil War narratives surviving. Only a few are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. The two recently discovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, are a major addition to the canon of American history. The first manuscript, "The Journal of Wallace Turnage," is the story of a slave born in Snow Hill, North Carolina in 1846. The second, entitled by the author, "Memorys of the Past," is the narrative of a former slave, John Washington, born in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1838.

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