Monday, June 30, 2014

The Slaves Have Names by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

 Photo Credit: Amazon

I first heard about this book project a few years ago from Shawn Smucker. I was super excited to hear that someone was researching the history of the slaves that lived and worked on her home. I couldn't wait to read this book. Of course I had to wait for the research to be "completed" and the book to be written. In November of 2013, the book was published. I got a copy of it, but didn't get around to reading it right away. I FINALLY started reading it early last week and finished it in less than a week. That is a pretty amazing record for me with 2 little ones around.

Based on the speed of my reading, you may be able to figure out some of my thoughts. I will pass my thoughts along anyway. This book is amazing! Andi Cumbo-Floyd is honest about the information that she finds and the information that she can't find. She is honest about her impressions of the people and their work on the plantation. She is honest about her feelings in the whole process. She presents all of those involved with integrity and as real people. The slave owners and the slaves themselves are both presented within the boundaries given to them by the society of the time. However, she doesn't give them a free pass either.

She doesn't pretend to understand all of the ramifications from slavery and segregation. She doesn't pretend to understand what it was like to live in a society that accepts slavery. However, she doesn't simply accept the facts written on paper as the only information to be had about these people. She provides an amazing balance between facts and inferences. She makes these bare facts transform into a fascinating story. I just can't say enough good things about this book.

Go get it and read it. You will be a better person for having read it.

The Slaves Have Names: Ancestors of My Home Paperback

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