2012 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Women and Slavery in America offers readers an opportunity to examine the establishment, growth, and evolution of slavery in the United States as it impacted women—enslaved and free, African American and white, wealthy and poor, northern and southern. The primary documents—including newspaper articles, broadsides, cartoons, pamphlets, speeches, photographs, memoirs, and editorials—are organized thematically and represent cultural, political, religious, economic, and social perspectives on this dark and complex period in American history.
Catherine M. Lewis is professor of history, director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education, and coordinator of the Public History Program at Kennesaw State University. She is the author of a number of books, including The Changing Face of Public History and Don’t Ask What I Shot: How Eisenhower’s Love of Golf Helped Shape 1950s America.
J. Richard Lewis is a desegregation consultant and former educator and academic administrator and president of JRL Educational Services.
“Illuminating as they are stark, the documents tell stories of coercion, exploitation, and violence, as well as cooperation, autonomy, and agency. The editors’ thoughtful selection of documents allows them to speak to one another across the chapters.”
—Stephanie Stegman, H-Net Reviews, Oct. 2012
“A wealth of material for scholars of nineteenth-century America and of women and slaves in particular. Women and Slavery in America is a well-edited documentary reader that examines the circumstances of women in slavery—the ones that compelled many of Weld’s lecturers to go into the field to agitate against America’s peculiar institution. It is also more than that, as it brings together the experiences of a diverse array of women, free and slave, Northern and Southern, rich and poor, and African American and white, to examine the effect of slavery upon women in particular.”
—Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, H-CivWar Reviews, June 2012
“An impressive selection of documents that brilliantly illustrates the many dimensions of women’s experience of slavery, from the earliest laws, to the conditions of their productive and reproductive labor, to the use of coercion and violence against them, to enslaved women’s resistance, flight, and their claim on freedom during the era of the Civil War. A welcome addition to the study of women and slavery, this documentary history will provide a superb complement to classroom instruction in history, women’s studies, and African American
—Leslie A. Schwalm, University of Iowa, author of A Hard Fight For We: Women’s Transition from Slavery to Freedom in South Carolina and Emancipation’s Diaspora
“Women and Slavery in America: A Documentary History brings together a wide array of historical documents to highlight ways in which gendered identity intersected with race in shaping the lived experience of slavery within the United States. Revealing both the vast diversity of contexts that influenced slave women’s lives and the recurring challenges they faced, this collection also provides students and teachers with helpful instructional resources such as a timeline, discussion questions, and learning activities.”
—Sarah Ruffing Robbins, Texas Christian University, author of Managing Literacy, Mothering America and The Cambridge Introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe