World of a Slave
Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States
Enslaved blacks retained some private realm that included toys, musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, and distinctive hair styles. Many individuals successfully preserved African traditions and beliefs, often adapting them to their new home. It is through such objects and practices that modern readers can gain at least some understanding of the day-to-day lives of these men, women, and children.
||Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
This two-volume encyclopedia is the first to focus on the material life of slaves.
Although many encyclopedias discuss slavery, enslaved blacks, and African American life and culture, none focus on the material world of slaves, such as what they saw; touched; heard; ate, drank, and smoked; wore; worked with and in; used, cultivated, crafted, played, and played with; and slept on. The two-volume World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States is a landmark work in this important new field of study.
Recognizing that a full understanding of the complexity of American slavery and its legacy requires an understanding of the material culture of slavery, the encyclopedia includes entries on almost every aspect of that material culture, beginning in the 17th century and extending through the Civil War. Readers will find information on animals, documents, economy, education and literacy, food and drink, home, music, personal items, places, religion, rites of passage, slavery, structures, and work. There are also introductory essays on literacy and oral culture and on music and dance.
- 178 A–Z entries on almost all aspects of the material culture of enslaved African Americans from the 17th century until 1865
- Contributions from a plethora of scholars, curators, artisans, and archaeologists in the field
- Sidebars including quotations from former slaves in which they describe the use and meaning of material objects
- Period paintings, watercolors, photographs, and drawings that illustrate the material world of enslaved blacks
- Photos of buildings, archaeological assemblages, and modern-day reproductions to illustrate specific entries
- A thematic guide that helps users easily find related topics
- Includes a substantial selected bibliography, including vetted websites
- Paves new ground by putting a microscope on the daily life of the slaves, offering fresh insights into how they lived, what they used, what they saw, and much more
- Brings together in-depth scholarship and analysis from a wide variety of professionals and makes their knowledge accessible to the general reader
- Presents new information about African American material culture not published elsewhere in a single source
- Lets students hear the "voices" of slavery through original quotations collected from former slaves by the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project between 1936 and 1938
- Author Info
"Highly recommended as a specialized reference title."
"This outstanding, objectively written resource is highly recommended for academic and large libraries."
". . . this two-volume set presents a fresh, powerful picture of the ignoble institution of slavery in the US. . . . this
important encyclopedia will be a useful addition for all academic libraries. . . . Recommended."
"An outstanding addition for all history collections."
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