Slaves in the Family

Slaves in the Family

Book - 1999
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Explores the slave-holding dynasty of Elias Ball, a South Carolina plantation owner, the history of slave uprisings, and the memories of the descendants of those slaves.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1999, c1998.
Edition: First Ballantine Books edition
ISBN: 9780345431059
Branch Call Number: 326 BALL E
Characteristics: 505 pages, [48] pages of plates : illustrations, 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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