Every week, Kerri asks her Roundtable guests to share the books they are reading. Here are the titles this week’s guests mentioned:
Chris Stewart: “Self Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom”
Here’s an excerpt from a review of the book in Harvard Educational Review:
Slaves who attempted to educate themselves, if caught, suffered physical and psychological consequences. Nonetheless, even under the strict limitations of slavery, slaves still developed ingenious strategies to become literate. Williams tells the story of slaves who received their instruction in “pit schools,” so named as such because they were “pit[s] in the ground way out in the woods away from the master’s surveillance.” She also writes about slaves who “hid spelling books under their hats to be ready whenever they could entreat or bribe a literate person to teach them.” During the Civil War — a time when the fate of the institution of slavery was yet undetermined — African Americans’ desire to learn continued to burn.
Sandra Vargas: The work of Doctor Amen