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Voices of the Enslaved - (Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American Histo) by Sophie White (Hardcover)

About this item

Specifications

Number of Pages: 352

Genre: History

Sub-Genre: United States

Series Title: Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American Histo

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press

Age Range: Adult

Author: Sophie White

Language: English

TCIN: 79214272
UPC: 9781469654041
Item Number (DPCI): 247-16-0001

Description

In eighteenth-century New Orleans, the legal testimony of some 150 enslaved women and men--like the testimony of free colonists--was meticulously recorded and preserved. Questioned in criminal trials as defendants, victims, and witnesses about attacks, murders, robberies, and escapes, they answered with stories about themselves, stories that rebutted the premise on which slavery was founded.

Focusing on four especially dramatic court cases, Voices of the Enslaved draws us into Louisiana's courtrooms, prisons, courtyards, plantations, bayous, and convents to understand how the enslaved viewed and experienced their worlds. As they testified, these individuals charted their movement between West African, indigenous, and colonial cultures; they pronounced their moral and religious values; and they registered their responses to labor, to violence, and, above all, to the intimate romantic and familial bonds they sought to create and protect. Their words--punctuated by the cadences of Creole and rich with metaphor--produced riveting autobiographical narratives as they veered from the questions posed by interrogators.

Carefully assessing what we can discover, what we might guess, and what has been lost forever, Sophie White offers both a richly textured account of slavery in French Louisiana and a powerful meditation on the limits and possibilities of the archive.

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