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Old Weird America: Unusual Slave Narratives Thursday, February 11 6:00-7:00 PM

February 4, 2021 at 9:11 AM by Cathy Polovina

Not light-heartedly weird, but unusual and courageous, were lengths to which some enslaved people went to escape their enforced captivity. You will be awed at the harrowing stories of Henry ‘Box’ Brown, who mailed himself to freedom; Ellen and William Craft, who passed themselves off as master and slave; and Harriet Jacobs, who hid out in a crawlspace measuring 9 by 7 feet for seven years before fleeing north.

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Many collections available at KPL:

Henry Louis Gates (ed.),Classic Slave Narratives.

Joel Christian Gill (ed.), Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History.

James Grannaisaw (ed.), Slave Narratives.

These narrative titles also available free online (Project Gutenberg):

William Craft, Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom.

Henry Brown, Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown.

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.


Jean Fagan Yellin, Harriet Jacobs, a Life.

Kathleen Chater, Henry Box Brown: From Slavery to Show Business.

Jeffrey Ruggles, The Unboxing of Henry Brown.

Barbara McCaskill, Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory.