"Slave Narratives of the Underground Railroad" ed. by Rudisel and Blaisdell. A Short Review

Slave Narratives of the Underground RailroadSlave Narratives of the Underground Railroad by Christine Rudisel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The volume is packed full of slave narratives, many penned in the late 19th-Century by William Sill, a son of slaves. The remainder are drawn in from other sources by the editors, Christine Rudisel and Bob Blaisdell, both professors of English at Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn New York. The stories unpack the harried and sometimes, horrific environment of 19th-Century slavery, and the thirst for liberty. The tales can be brutal, but also inspiring. There is a bit of a propaganda edge to the narratives, since many of them were collected for the purposes of vindicating the anti-slavery movement, and the Underground Railroad. Several of the accounts are from interviews given to various Vigilance Committees not long after a person reached safety. The stories are a mixture of sadness and celebration, pain and perseverance, sacrifice and suffering. It is a book worth reading, and having in one's library.


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