Slaves in the Family

Slaves in the Family

Book - 1998
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Former Village Voice columnist Edward Ball takes readers on an unprecedented journey into his family's slave-owning past, telling the story of black and white families who lived side by side for five generations--and a tale of everyday Americans confronting their vexed inheritance together. Photos.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 1998.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374265823
Branch Call Number: 975.7915009 Ba
Characteristics: 504 pages, 48 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Aug 08, 2019

Did not read

Jan 03, 2019

There are no words to describe the depth of research that went into discovering the lineage of his family's 300 years as slave owners-the author himself, a distant decedent of a slave-at one time the collective Ball family, over the centuries owned over 4,000 slaves on many rice plantations-the horror

Jul 07, 2015

I checked this out a few days before the shooting in Charleston. It goes into depth on the whites' and blacks' lives on the 20 plantations owned by the Ball family, starting from Elias Ball in the late 1600s. His white relatives' comments ("we treated our slaves well;" "the slaves loved us," "we didn't break up families;" "we rarely beat them," etc.) are strongly contradicted by his black relatives' bitterness about their great-great-greats' experiences as handed down in family stories through generations.

Jun 28, 2014

In revealing the history of the Ball Family, "Slaves in the Family" reveals much insight about slavery in South Carolina (the U. S.) from its earliest colonial beginnings, (beginning on the shores of Africa) to its end and into the 20th century. I was again struck by the amount of resources, time, determination, and maybe even luck it takes to identify individual slaves brought from Africa to the plantations, as well as to trace their lineage to their present day descendants. In my opinion, Slaves in the Family gives a broad perspective of the Black experience that is especially enhanced when both Slaves in the Family and Warmth of Other Suns are treated as paired reading.


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