Authors Justene Hill Edwards (Unfree Markets: The Slaves Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina) and Vanessa M. Holden (Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community) share their new histories offering a fuller picture of the interactions and social relationships of enslaved people as they sought opportunities to survive. In conversation with Laurent Dubois.
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“Centering enslaved men, women, and children as actors on the grand stage of South Carolina’s economy, Hill Edwards demonstrates that the entrepreneurial enterprises of the enslaved did not undermine the institution of bondage but instead reinforced it. Beautifully written and researched, Unfree Markets is a welcome addition to the history of African Americans and capitalism.” ―Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
“A rich study of an important and understudied topic. Unfree Markets illuminates the many ways enslaved people participated in the expanding markets of early America. Justene Hill Edwards brings new insights to our understanding of how markets changed enslaved people’s day-to-day economic lives, never losing sight of the profound ways that these same markets continued to undermine their freedom.” ―Caitlin Rosenthal, author of Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management
“With intricate research and deft analysis, Vanessa M. Holden presents a bold new exploration into Nat Turner’s Southampton Rebellion of 1831 and the imperative roles women and children played in the ongoing fight for Black survival.” ―Ms.
“Vanessa Holden successfully moves our attention from Nat Turner to his community at a time when the appeal for uncovering societies of resistance has never been more apparent.” ―Civil War Monitor
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