Slaves in the Family

Slaves in the Family

Large Print - 1999 | Large print ed.
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In 1698, Elias Ball traveled from his home in England to take possession of his inheritance - a plantation in South Carolina and twenty slaves. He and his progeny built an American dynasty on the labor of nearly four thousand slaves. The author is a descendant of Elias. Here he chronicles the lives of the people who lived on his ancestors' lands, and most remarkable of all, he relates his travels across the U.S. to meet the descendants of Ball slaves. Their stories reveals how the effect of slavery live on in black and white life and memory, and Slaves in the Family is a story of people confronting their inescapable common history.
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall, 1999.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780783886282
Branch Call Number: 975.7915 B187a
Characteristics: 843 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.


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Jul 07, 2015

I checked this out a few days before the shooting in Charleston. It goes into depth on the whites' and blacks' lives on the 20 plantations owned by the Ball family, starting from Elias Ball in the late 1600s. His white relatives' comments ("we treated our slaves well;" "the slaves loved us," "we didn't break up families;" "we rarely beat them," etc.) are strongly contradicted by his black relatives' bitterness about their great-great-greats' experiences as handed down in family stories through generations.

Jun 28, 2014

In revealing the history of the Ball Family, "Slaves in the Family" reveals much insight about slavery in South Carolina (the U. S.) from its earliest colonial beginnings, (beginning on the shores of Africa) to its end and into the 20th century. I was again struck by the amount of resources, time, determination, and maybe even luck it takes to identify individual slaves brought from Africa to the plantations, as well as to trace their lineage to their present day descendants. In my opinion, Slaves in the Family gives a broad perspective of the Black experience that is especially enhanced when both Slaves in the Family and Warmth of Other Suns are treated as paired reading.

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