Readings on Slavery

Library Resources

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Africans in America: America's journey through slavery
Johnson, Charles Richard

A companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in America features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson.

973.0496 J63a
Bullwhip days: the slaves remember
edited by Mellon, James

29 oral histories and additional excerpts, selected from 2,000 interviews with former slaves conducted in the 1930s for a WPA Federal Writers Project, document the conditions of slavery that, Mellon maintains, lie at the root of today's racism.

326.973 B876
California, the Civil War, and the Indian problem
Kibby, Leo

One of the earlier written books highlighting the social and political climate of California during the U.S. Civil War.

979.4 K533c
Carry me back: The domestic slave trade in American life
Deyle, Steven

Originating with the birth of the nation itself, in many respects, the story of the domestic slave trade is also the story of the early United States. While an external traffic in slaves had always been present, following the American Revolution this was replaced by a far more vibrant internal trade. Carry Me Back restores the domestic slave trade to the prominent place that it deserves in early American history, exposing the many complexities of southern slavery and antebellum American life.

REF - 381.4409 D532c
Children of coyote, missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish relations in colonial California, 1769-1850
Hackel, Steven V.

Recovering lost voices and exploring issues intimate and institutional, this sweeping examination of Spanish California illuminates Indian struggles against a confining colonial order and amidst harrowing depopulation.

979.476 H1154c
Disposable people: new slavery in the global economy
Bales, Kevin

Disposable People was the first book of its kind to describe the worldwide resurgence of slavery. Slavery is illegal throughout the world, yet more than 27 million people are still trapped in one of history's oldest social institutions. Kevin Bales' disturbing story of contemporary slavery reaches from Pakistan's brick kilns and Thailand's brothels to various multinational corporations.

306.362 B195d
Escape from slavery: the true story of my ten years in captivity--and my journey to freedom in America
Bok, Francis

In this modern slave narrative, Francis Bok shares his remarkable story with grace, honesty, and a wisdom gained from surviving 10 years in captivity. 7-year-old Francis Bok was snatched by Arab raiders on horseback, armed with rifles and long knives, who burst into the quiet a marketplace, murdering men and gathering the women and young children into a group. Strapped to horses and donkeys, Francis and others were taken north into lives of slavery under wealthy Muslim farmers.

B B6371a
A history of Negro slavery in New York
McManus, Edgar J.

This book provides general coverage of New York's slave system, tracing its history from its origins in New Netherland to its legal demise in the late 18th century. McManus describes the economic role of slavery, the conditions of the slaves, and the resistance to slavery.

326.974 M227h
In the shadow of slavery: African Americans in New York 1626 - 1823
Harris, Leslie M.

In the Shadow of Slavery lays bare the history of African Americans in New York, starting with the arrival of the first slaves in 1626, moving through the turbulent years before emancipation in 1827, and culminating in one of the most terrifying displays of racism in U.S. history, the New York City Draft Riots of 1863.

305.896 H2246i
Inhuman bondage: the rise and fall of slavery in the new world
Davis, David Brion

Inhuman Bondage offers a compelling narrative that links together the profits of slavery, the pain of the enslaved, and the legacy of racism. It is the portrait of the dark side of the American dream.

306.362 D2916i
The Missions of California: a legacy of genocide
Costo, Rupert

First person oral histories by Native Americans telling their stories of life under the California mission system.

979.4 M691
The Negro in colonial New England
Greene, Lorenzo

One of the few sources dealing with the role of the Negro in colonial New England. Books contain articles, pamphlets and reminiscences dealing with certain aspects to the New England slave trade and slavery in the separate New England colonies.

326.974 G833n 1966
The Negro trail blazers of California; a compilation of records from the California archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, in Berkeley; and from the diaries, old papers, and conversations of old pioneers in the State of California
Beasley, Delilah L.


REF 920.079 B38n
New York burning: liberty, slavery, and conspiracy in eighteenth-century Manhattan
Lepore, Jill

“Over a few weeks in 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. Thirteen black men were burned at the stake and seventeen were hanged, four whites, the alleged ringleaders of the plot, were also hanged, and seven more were pardoned on condition that they never set foot in New York again.” In a narrative rich with period detail and vivid description, Jill Lepore pieces together the events and the thinking that led white New Yorkers to make “bonfires of the Negroes.” She reconstructs the harsh past of a city that slavery built - and almost destroyed.

974.7102 L558n
A rumor of revolt
Davis, Thomas J.

Rumor tells the story of a rash of fires in Manhattan in March of 1741, supposedly set by disgruntled slaves and their supporters and the arrests and trials that ensued. Davis uncovers an early New York City that surprisingly, ranked second only to Charleston, South Carolina in slave population.

974.71 D298r
Slave testimony
Blassingame, John W.

Between the covers of Slave Testimony readers will find the largest collection of annotated and authenticated accounts of slaves ever published in one volume. In them, the slaves of Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Henry Clay, and others speak for themselves about their culture, plantation life, the adequacy of their food, clothing, and shelter, the sexual exploitation of black women, and the psychological response to bondage.

326.973 SL16
Slavery and the making of America
Horton, James

The history of slavery is central to understanding the history of the United States. Slavery and the Making of America offers a richly illustrated, vividly written history that illuminates the human side of this inhumane institution, presenting it largely through stories of the slaves themselves.

973.0496 H789s
Slavery in America: from Colonial times to the Civil War
Schneider, Dorothy

An Eyewitness History of Slavery in America presents the essential facts of slavery, from the early slave trade in Africa through the end of slavery in the United States. Chapters explore key aspects of slavery, including a “Chronicle of Events.” A section entitled “Eyewitness Testimony” features interesting and historically significant comments made by such figures as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, and many more.

973.0496 Sch57s
Slavery in New York
edited by Berlin, Ira

The institution of slavery played a central role in the history of New York City. Indeed, in portions of the 17th and 18th centuries, the largest urban slave population in North America was located in N.Y. and even as slavery declined in N.Y. proper, commercial, political, and cultural connections to slavery remained due to connections to the slave-holding southern states. The New York Historical Society organized two exhibitions: “Slavery in New York” and “Commerce and Conscience: Slavery and New York, 1815-1865,” both opening in 2005. This work serves as a companion to both exhibitions.

974.7049 SL16
Slavery in New York
Northrup, A. Judd

A history bulletin published in 1900 by the New York State Library providing a history of Negro slavery in New York.

974.7 N489h
The Slave's narrative
edited by Davis, Charles T. and Gates, Henry Louis

These autobiographies of Afro-American ex-slaves comprise the largest body of literature produced by slaves in human history. The book consists of three sections: selected reviews of slave narratives, dating from 1750 to 1861; essays examining how such narratives serve as historical material; and essays exploring the narratives as literary artifacts.

326.973 SL165
The sounds of slavery: discovering African American history through songs, sermons, and speech
White, Shane

“The singing of slaves on plantations, while chopping weeds in cotton fields, or while working at a corn shucking; the sound of a slave preacher delivering a sermon or an elderly slave telling Brer Rabbit stories to children; newly freed blacks exchanging greetings or whistling on southern city streets - all these and many more made up the sounds of slavery.” Shane White and Graham White break new ground and bring history vividly to life through an exploration of the varied and nuanced sounds of slavery.

973.0496 W5856s
Stories of freedom in Black New York
White, Shane

Stories of Freedom in Black New York recreates the experience of black New Yorkers as they moved from slavery to freedom. In the early decades of the 19th century, New York City's black community strove to realize what freedom meant, to find a new sense of itself, and, in the process, created a vibrant urban culture.

974.71 W5856s
Taming the elephant: politics, government, and law in pioneer California
edited by Burns, John F.

Lively, authoritative essays on the political history of California from the Gold Rush and the achievement of statehood through the end of the 19th century.

979.404 T152
White gold: the extraordinary story of Thomas Pellow and Islam’s one million white slaves
Milton, Giles

This book reveals a disturbing and long forgotten chapter of history. In 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and 51 comrades were captured at sea by the Barbary corsairs. Their captors--a network of Muslim slave traders--had declared war on Christendom. Thousands had been snatched from their homes in France, Spain, England and Italy and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Saľ in Morocco.

306.362 M642w


(All these materials are designated library use only)

Monitoring and combating trafficking in persons: how are we doing?

Hearing before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, March 7, 2002.

364.153 Un3m
The ongoing tragedy of international slavery and human trafficking

An overview: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, first session, October 29, 2003.

306.362 Un324o
Trafficking in persons, a global review

Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, second session, June 24, 2004.

306.36 Un3t
Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
Department of State, United States of America
306.74 V664



Readings on Slavery was put together by the San Francisco Public Library, African American Center for the opening of Slavery: Inhuman History, on view January 24 - April 30, 2007 at the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, SF, CA 94105, This bibliography is part of a collaboration between SFPL and MoAD that encourages further education and reading on topics pertaining to the African Diaspora.

This guide will help you find books and other materials at the San Francisco Public Library related to the topic of Slavery. If you need further help finding materials, be sure to ask the librarian staff for guidance. You can pick up a copy of this bibliography at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Materials can be found throughout the SFPL’s 27 branches as well as at the Main Library. You will especially want to check out the African American Center on the third floor of the Main Library as well as the Bayview Branch Library.

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