This six volume set features entries on people, organizations, landmarks, professions, entertainment, military activity, religion, family life, politics, court cases, cultural movements, and other facets of life that have unique expression among African Americans.
Although many encyclopedias discuss slavery, enslaved blacks, and African American life and culture, none focus on the material world of slaves, such as what they saw; touched; heard; ate, drank, and smoked; wore; worked with and in; used, cultivated, crafted, played, and played with; and slept on. Readers will find information on animals, documents, economy, education and literacy, food and drink, home, music, personal items, places, religion, rites of passage, slavery, structures, and work. There are also introductory essays on literacy and oral culture and on music and dance.
The culmination of years of research in dozens of archives and libraries, this fascinating encyclopedia provides an unprecedented look at the network known as the Underground Railroad--that mysterious system of individuals and organizations that helped slaves escape the American South to freedom during the years before the Civil War. In operation as early as the 1700s and reaching its peak with the abolitionist movement of the antebellum period, the Underground Railroad saved countless lives and helped alter the course of American history. This encyclopedia features extensive supporting materials, including maps with actual Underground Railroad escape routes, photos, a chronology, genealogies of those involved in the operation, a listing of Underground Railroad operatives by state or Canadian province, a passenger list of escaping slaves, and primary and secondary source bibliographies.