Help Me to Find My People by Heather Andrea Williams audiobook

Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery

By Heather Andrea Williams
Read by Robin Miles

Blackstone Publishing 9780807835548
9.85 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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After the Civil War, African Americans placed poignant “informationwanted” advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members.Inspired by the power of these ads, Heather Andrea Williams uses slavenarratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide listenersback to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when peoplewere sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Williams exploresthese heartbreaking stories and the long, usually unsuccessfuljourneys toward reunification. Examining the interior lives of the enslaved andfreed people as they tried to come to terms with great loss, Williams groundstheir grief, fear, anger, longing, frustration, and hope in the history ofAmerican slavery and the domestic slave trade. Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles theirsearches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the empathy, sympathy, indifference, and hostility expressed by whites aboutsundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in thepost–Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in theongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

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Summary

Summary

After the Civil War, African Americans placed poignant “informationwanted” advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members.Inspired by the power of these ads, Heather Andrea Williams uses slavenarratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide listenersback to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when peoplewere sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Williams exploresthese heartbreaking stories and the long, usually unsuccessfuljourneys toward reunification. Examining the interior lives of the enslaved andfreed people as they tried to come to terms with great loss, Williams groundstheir grief, fear, anger, longing, frustration, and hope in the history ofAmerican slavery and the domestic slave trade.

Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles theirsearches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the empathy, sympathy, indifference, and hostility expressed by whites aboutsundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in thepost–Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in theongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Williams examines the historical fact of family separation and renders its emotional truth. She is the rare scholar who writes history with such tenderness that her words can bring a reader to tears…[The book] has a propulsive narrative flow, and with each successive chapter the suppleness of Williams’ prose grows.” New York Times Book Review
“Inspired by ‘information wanted’ advertisements that African Americans placed in newspapers to find loved ones after the Civil War, Williams examines the emotional and psychological effects of separation and reunion on both free and enslaved African Americans…An important addition to African American history collections.”  Library Journal
“Offers is a close examination of the emotions of slaves and their owners…Allows the enslaved and formerly enslaved to speak for themselves on loss and the physical and emotional tribulations of slavery…Williams’ source materials and her own narrative evoke the longing, fear, grief, and hope that have endured as black families continue to search genealogies to reconnect to family members lost to the cruelty of slavery.” Booklist
“History, as we are reminded by this book, is told from the perspective of those with power. Robin Miles’ confident oratorical style gives the listener a sense of empowerment regarding the attempts of African-Americans to recover their family histories lost through the institution of slavery. Miles’ tone is crisp, her pace steady, and her style journalistic, all of which suit the theme set out by the author. Though full of facts and minute biographical details, Miles’ evenly paced reading draws the listener into the personal aspects of these stories. She differentiates between the male and female recollections by changes in tone. She also creates successful narrative personas to delineate the journal entries, reported dialogue, and overall narrative text.” AudioFile
“A stunning narrative. Relying upon an astonishing variety of sources, Williams documents one of the deepest prices paid by those subjected to enslavement—forced separation from their loved ones—and chronicles the long and difficult journeys they undertook to search for loved ones.” William Darity, Jr., arts and sciences professor of public policy, African and African American studies, and economics, Duke University
“Williams speaks to scholars and to everyone interested in African American roots and family history as she delves into the short-run and long-run impact of family instability and disruption. This is a study of real importance.” Michael Tadman, University of Liverpool
“Williams has uncovered evidence with emotional heft that will help modern readers understand the toll slavery took upon families and individuals. She examines these losses from the perspectives of enslaved peoples and seeks to answer how they dealt with—and how they felt about—what was done to them.” Marie Jenkins Schwartz, University of Rhode Island

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Heather Andrea Williams

Author Bio: Heather Andrea Williams

Heather Andrea Williams is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 9.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English