More Merry and Bright Holiday Gift Book Ideas

At UNC Press, thinking about which of our books might make great gifts is a happy year-round effort. Here’s a wrap-up-worthy roundup of some of our favorite titles for even the most difficult to buy for folks on your list. Don’t forget, you can save 40% on all UNC Press print books and receive free shipping… Continue Reading More Merry and Bright Holiday Gift Book Ideas

Excerpt: Help Me to Find My People, by Heather Andrea Williams

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. Continue Reading Excerpt: Help Me to Find My People, by Heather Andrea Williams

Interview: Heather Andrea Williams on the search for family lost in slavery

I think the quilt on the cover really captures some of the pain of separation as well as the hope that some enslaved people held on to. There is a little girl’s dress, but no little girl, and the handwriting is traced from a letter sent by an enslaved woman to the family of her former owner asking what had ever become of her little girl. Vilet Lester, the child’s mother, was literate enough to write this letter seeking information about her daughter. She was hopeful that her current owner would be able to purchase the child and restore Lester’s family. One of the sad things about doing this work is that I do not know if Vilet Lester ever received an answer to her letter or whether she ever saw her daughter again. Continue Reading Interview: Heather Andrea Williams on the search for family lost in slavery