When the Human Being Counts

For me, my African heritage ancestors’ trials of enslavement is not a distant historical occurrence, but something that shaped my family life up to this very day. I have been fortunate to preserve many family heirlooms dating back to the early days of America, which encouraged me to study the subject extensively, and lecture in many historic cities and countries on the topic.

Here are two images I would like to offer for the last day of Black History Month in 2108. My great, great grandmother, Narcissa Forrester and her slave doll (c. 1830) from when she was a little girl in Virginia. The doll was made from the clothing of an enslaved woman in her family household. My ancestor was a free woman of mixed heritage and fellow family members manipulated the slave institution to keep their family intact and unbroken by the brutal system of slavery that engulfed much of early America. While some free people of color held slaves for solely economic benefits, others were simply maintaining their family. This occurrence of slaveholding among African heritage people has not received the amount of historic study and Continue reading