In an excerpt from Bland Simpson’s nonfiction novel Two Captains from Carolina, we get a glimpse of Moses Grandy’s early career as a boatman—the freedom he felt on the water and the opportunities that lay ahead.
In this video, Bland Simpson reads from his epic tale of race and war, “Two Captains from Carolina,” at UNC’s Bull’s Head Bookshop, November 13, 2012.
In years to come, he would gain a wider reputation as a moving, eloquent speaker and a fierce debater. But at no time of his life was he a more effective orator than in those first months of freedom on the North Carolina coast. The prodigal ex-slave was always at his best among other former slaves.
Spielberg based more than 40 of his characters on historical figures; included in this group is Elizabeth Keckley, an enslaved woman whose 1868 book (Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House) UNC Press and the UNC Library republished last year through the DocSouth Books program.
Announcing our last four sale subjects, all at 50% off, with free shipping for orders over $75 for the next two weeks.
We are happy to announce UNC Press author James Sweet, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for his book, Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World.
In this video, Sallie Ann Robinson is interviewed about her experience as Pat Conroy’s student on Daufuskie Island and how her life has been changed since then. She says, “I got up every morning just wanting to go to school because this man was here with all this fun stuff to offer.”
Where are they now? Historian Benjamin Filene seeks information about the people involved in the 1939 children’s book “Tobe,” about an African American sharecropping family in NC.
Today we’re excited to announce that historian Dylan C. Penningroth has been awarded a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Penningroth is the author of The Claims of Kinfolk.
When Americans made Jesus white, they gave a racial spin to creation, to redemption in the form of Jesus, and to the future Apocalypse. This is crucial because it allows white people to see whiteness and racial categories as everlasting.
Bland Simpson, author of Two Captains from Carolina: Moses Grandy, John Newland Maffitt, and the Coming of the Civil War, reveals how the stories of two men can tell the saga of race in the antebellum and Civil War-era South.
This week in our North Carolina icons series we’re featuring the Great Dismal Swamp, which stretches from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It’s number 80 on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list, where it’s described: “Birds don’t find the swamp dismal at all. More than 200 species of birds can be spotted there during the year. Grab your binoculars and go.”
It was lovely, this old plantation house, perched, as it was, atop a hillside. Striking in its grandeur. Alluring in its light. I could almost believe, staring up at the glowing, Palladian window panes, that the year was 1806, that Cherokees still possessed the lands of northern Georgia, that the wealthy Cherokee family who once dwelled in this home would appear at a doorway in waistcoats and bustles.
For all the attention to Lincoln’s ideas and motivations, however, there has been very little focus on the delegates’ side of the story. For decades no one even knew who they were, much less what they stood for. Drawing on the work of the historian Benjamin Quarles, many believed that four of the five delegates were uneducated former slaves, hand-picked by Lincoln and his colonization commissioner, James Mitchell, to be pliable and subservient.
In fact, all five of the men who listened to Lincoln’s case for colonization were members of Washington’s free black elite, chosen by a formal meeting of representatives from Washington’s independent black churches.
African Americans now had both more freedom to move about and more reason to believe they could begin to live the lives they had previously only imagined. For many, this meant reuniting with family, so they urgently attempted to get to the places where they thought their loved ones might be. Sometimes they found them there; other times the people were gone.