Monday, February 25, 2013

[Quick Picks] Black History Month: Thirty Years a Slave

THIRTY YEARS A SLAVE: from Bondage to Freedom: the Autobiography of Louis Hughes, by Louis Hughes

Louis Hughes is a candid storyteller in this brief but insightful narrative. He was born in Virginia and later purchased by Edmund McGee who eventually moved from Pontotoc, Mississippi to a mansion near Memphis. As a house servant, Hughes described plantation life in rich detail, recalling daily chores, food and medicine preparation, celebrations, and punishments. I enjoyed how this memoir described life and events in Memphis and Mississippi during and after the Civil War. There is also mention of a historic figure whose name is involved in a recent public park controversy. I didn't want this book to end.

 -Darletha Matthews, South Branch Library

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