Social science / Slavery

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Slavery and Reform in West Africa: Toward Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Senegal and the Gold Coast

by Trevor R. Getz

A series of transformations, reforms, and attempted abolitions of slavery form a core narrative of nineteenth-century coastal West Africa. As the region's role in Atlantic commercial networks underwent a gradual...

Historical Dictionary of Slavery and Abolition

by Martin A. Klein

This second edition relates the long and brutal history of slavery and the struggle for abolition using several key features:

  • Chronology
  • Introductory essay
  • Appendixes
  • Bibliography
  • Over 500 cross-referenced entries...

The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775-1865

by James J. Gigantino II

James J. Gigantino II shatters the easy dichotomy between free and slave states in early America. The Ragged Road to Abolition illustrates how slavery in New Jersey persisted until the ratification of the Thirteenth...

Ourika : This Is to Be Alone, This, This, Is Solitude!

by Lord Byron

Ourika is a delightful tale set in France during the French Revolution. George Gordon Byron (1788–1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement....

The Economic Consequences of the Atlantic Slave Trade

by Barbara L. Solow & Dale Tomich

The Economic Consequences of the Atlantic Slave Trade places the sugar/slave/plantation complex of the British West Indies at the center of the Atlantic trading system, uniting the economies of western Europe,...

My Bondage and My Freedom

by Frederick Douglass

Born a slave, Douglass became outspoken force in antislavery movement. The best of Douglass's autobiographies. Graphic description of slave life.

From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Contemporary Slavery

by Alison Brysk & Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

In this volume a cast of experts demonstrates that it is time to recognize human trafficking as an issue of human rights and social justice, rooted in larger structural issues relating to the global economy,...

Agency of the Enslaved: Jamaica and the Culture of Freedom in the Atlantic World

by D. A. Dunkley

In this book, author D.A. Dunkley challenges the notion that enslavement fostered the culture of freedom in the former colonies of Western Europe in the Americas. Dunkley explores the importance of the agency...

Summary of Caste (Oprah's Book Club)

by Alexander Cooper

Summary of Caste (Oprah's Book Club)

Caste is the foundation of our divisions," Isabel Wilkerson writes in The Origins of Our Discontents. Standing resembles the bones of an old house, "the studs and joists that...

The Cause of Freedom

by Jonathan Scott Holloway

What does it mean to be an American? The story of the African American past demonstrates the difficulty of answering this seemingly simple question. What does it mean to be an American? The story of the African...

Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born in slavery as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey near Easton in Talbot County, Maryland. In 1838 he escaped from slavery and went to New York City, where he married Anna Murray,...

The Adventures of Roderick Random

by Tobias Smollett

First published in 1748, "The Adventures of Roderick Random" is Scottish author and poet Tobias Smollett’s debut picaresque novel and it is loosely based on Smollett’s experiences in the British Navy.


At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind

by Richard Edward Dennett

First published in 1906, "At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind" by Richard Edward Dennett looks at Bantu and Yoruba spiritual practices and philosophy, including nature worship, sacred kingship, and shamanism....


by Edwin Abbott Abbott

First published in 1882, Edwin Abbott Abbott's "Onesimus" is an historical novel told from the point of view of first-century Christian Onesimus, a slave mentioned in the book of Philemon.

"Onesimus" is written...

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published in 1852, a mere nine years before the start of the US Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe's heartbreaking classic "Uncle Tom's Cabin" seeks to unmask the horrors of slavery, revealing the brutalities...

Captain Blood

by Rafael Sabatini

First published in 1922, "Captain Blood"  is a classic novel of adventure and romance, and one of Italian-English writer Rafael Sabatini's best. 

Peter Blood, an Irish physician and soldier in England in the...


by Aphra Behn

"Oroonoko" (or, the Royal Slave) is an early example of the novel genre, written by Aphra Behn and published in 1688.

It is a seventeenth-century novella that tells the story of the eponymous hero, the prince...

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

by Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano, known for most of his life as Gustavus Vassa, was a writer and abolitionist from, according to his memoir, the Eboe region of the Kingdom of Benin.

"The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah...

The Negro Problem

by Booker T. Washington

Seven essays, including the Law, Disfranchisement, Industrial Education, and the Negro's Place in American Life. 

The Red Record

by Ida B. Wells

Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States. 

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an early figure in the civil rights movement. She was born into slavery, and gained her freedom when the Emancipation...