RSS Art Photostream

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The original Book of Negroes measures about a foot-and-a-half by a foot-and-a-half and runs just over 150 pages. Though known to just a handful of scholars, this remarkable hand-written ledger is a historical treasure. Detailing names, ages, backgrounds and often degrading physical descriptions (“stout wench”), it’s the first public documentation of black people in North America — specifically, the 3,000 freedom-seekers who left New York for Nova Scotia and other British colonies near the end of the American Revolutionary War. In exchange for their service to the empire, Black Loyalists were promised liberty and land. What they received was little better than the circumstances they left behind: poverty, hunger, disease and servitude. (See the rest of this story and an interview with Lawrence Hill on

No comments: