Friday, June 19, 2009

Today in History: The End of Slavery in the US

In his blog post for today, Kenneth C. Davis, author of America's Hidden History, reminds us that June 19, 1865 marked the end of slavery in America.

In a bit of publishing kismet, I started off the day with an email exchange about a novel that I've long admired: Sherley A. Williams's Dessa Rose.

This acclaimed historical novel is based on two actual incidents: In 1829 in Kentucky, a pregnant black woman helped lead an uprising of a group of slaves headed to the market for sale. She was sentenced to death, but her hanging was delayed until after the birth of her baby. In North Carolina in 1830, a white woman living on an isolated farm was reported to have given sanctuary to runaway slaves. In Dessa Rose, Sherley Williams asks the question: "What if these two women met?"

There's a
reading guide for those of you who are considering this one for a class or for your reading group.

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