Voices of the Enslaved

By Sophie White,

Book cover of Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana

Book description

In eighteenth-century New Orleans, the legal testimony of some 150 enslaved women and men--like the testimony of free colonists--was meticulously recorded and preserved. Questioned in criminal trials as defendants, victims, and witnesses about attacks, murders, robberies, and escapes, they answered with stories about themselves, stories that rebutted the premise on…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Voices of the Enslaved as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Voices of the Enslaved is a beautifully written and masterfully researched book (also award-winning) on the French period in colonial Louisiana. White traces the fleeting appearances of enslaved Africans in Louisiana court records to illuminate how they were able to achieve legal recognition where their enslavers tried to give them none. Out of the many fragments of legal documents, White creates a collage of Black lives in French Louisiana that really illuminates the Black contributions to the region.

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