Learn more about slavery and its lasting effects in America by exploring the source materials referenced in The Reckoning. Our bibliography contains many items that are available to read or download for free. If you choose to purchase any of the books through the links provided, as an Amazon Associate, our non-profit organization Reckoning, Inc. earns commissions from qualifying purchases.
- Legacy of Slavery in America
- Legacy of Slavery in Kentucky
- Legacy of Slavery in Fiction
Alexander, Michelle. (paid link) New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2020.
Andrews, Ethan A. (paid link) Slavery and the Domestic Slave-Trade in the United States. Boston: Light and Stearns, 1836. Read for free at Internet Archive
Bailey, Ronald. (paid link) "The Other Side of Slavery: Black Labor, Cotton, and Textile Industrialization in Great Britain and the United States." Agricultural History 68, no. 2 (1994): 35-50. Read for Free at JSTOR
Baldwin, James. (paid link) The Fire Next Time. New York: Vintage Books, 2004.
Ball, Edward. (paid link) Slaves in the Family: The Evolution of American Racial Relations. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
Bancroft, Frederic. (paid link) Slave Trading in the Old South. Baltimore: J.H. Furst, 1931.
Barkow, Rachel E. (paid link) Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019.
Bateman, David A., Katznelson, Ira, and Lapinski, John S. (paid link) "Southern Nation: Congress and White Supremacy After Reconstruction." Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
Berlin, Ira. (paid link) Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1975.
Berry, Daina Ramey. (paid link) The Price for Their Pound of Flesh : The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation. United States: Random House Inc, 2018.
Berry, Wendell. (paid link) The Hidden Wound. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010.
Biss, Eula. (paid link) Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2018.
Blassingame, John W., ed. (paid link) Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.
Breeden, James O. (paid link) Advice Among Masters: The Ideal in Slave Management in the Old South. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.
Brown, Patricia L. “In a Barn, a Piece of Slavery’s Hidden Past.” The New York Times, May 6, 2003.
Burroughs, Tony. (paid link) Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree.. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.
Downs, Jim. (paid link) Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Dattel, Eugene R. (paid link) Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2011.
Deyle, Steven. (paid link) Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in American Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. For an in-depth examination of local sales see chapter five.
Diangelo, Robin J. (paid link) White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. London: Allen Lane, an Imprint of Penguin Books, 2019.
Downs, Jim. (paid link) Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Eaton, Clement. "Slave-Hiring in the Upper South: A Step Toward Freedom."Journal of American History Volume 46, Issue 4, March 1960, Pages 663–678. Read free at Oxford Academic: doi.org/10.2307/1886282
Emdin, Christopher. (paid link) For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood - and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017.
Featherstonhaugh, George W. (paid link) Excursion Through the Slave States: From Washington on the Potomac, to the Frontier of Mexico. United Kingdom: J. Murray, 1844. Digitized by Google Books, 2006. Read at Google Books free.
Ford, Dionne, Jill Strauss, and Lucian K Truscott. (paid link) Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation. London: Rutgers University Press, 2019.
Genovese, Eugene D. (paid link) Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Vintage Books, 1976.
Green, Keith M. (paid link) Bound to Respect: Antebellum Narratives of Black Imprisonment, Servitude, and Bondage, 1816–1861. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015.
Gudmestad, Robert H. (paid link) A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation of the Interstate Slave Trade. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2003.
Gutman, Herbert G. (paid link) The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925. United Kingdom: Blackwell, 1976.
Herivel, Tara, ed. and Paul Wright, ed. (paid link) Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration. New York: New Press, 2007.
Jaspin, Eliot. (paid link) Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. United Kingdom: Basic Books, 2008.
Johnson, Walter, ed. (paid link) The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2004.
Johnson, Walter. (paid link) Soul by Soul. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2009.
Jones, Jacqueline, and James Jones. (paid link) Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 1985.
Jones, Ricky L. (paid link) Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015.
Jones-Rogers, Stephanie E. (paid link) They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
Kendi, Ibram X. (paid link) How to Be an Antiracist. New York: One World, 2019.
Kendi, Ibram X. (paid link) Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. London: The Bodley Head, 2017.
Kennedy, V. L. (paid link) Born Southern: Childbirth, Motherhood, and Social Networks in the Old South. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Kornweibel, Theodore. (paid link) Railroads in the African American Experience: A Photographic Journey. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Leary, Joy D. (paid link) Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing; a Study Guide. Milwaukie, Oregon: Uptone Press, 2009.
Lewis, Ronald L. (paid link) Black Coal Miners in America: Race, Class and Community Conflict, 1780-1980. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1987.
Mancini, Matthew J. (paid link) One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South,1866-1928. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
Martin, Bonnie. “Slavery’s Invisible Engine: Mortgaging Human Property.” The Journal of Southern History 76, no. 4 (2010): 817-66. Read for Free at Jstor
Menakem, Resmaa. (paid link) My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Las Vegas: Central Recovery Press, 2017.
Murphy, Sharon A. "Banking on Slavery in the Antebellum South". New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Economic History Workshop, May 1, 2017.
Murphy, Sharon A. (paid link) Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Neal, Anthony W. (paid link) Unburdened by Conscience: A Black People's Collective Account of America's Ante-Bellum South and the Aftermath. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009.
Patterson, William L. (paid link) We Charge Genocide, The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief from a Crime of the United States Government Against the Negro People. New York: Civil Rights Congress, 1952. Read at Google Books free
Percy, William A. (paid link) Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter's Son. New York: Knopf, 1941. Read free at Internet Archive
Peters, Pamela R. (paid link) The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana. United Kingdom: McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers, 2001.
Rankine, Claudia. (paid link) Citizen: An American Lyric. London: Penguin Books, 2015.
Roberts, Blain and Ethan J. Kytle. (paid link) Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy. New York: The New Press, 2018.
Rothman, Joshua D. (paid link) Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
Rothman, Joshua D. (paid link) Reforming America, 1815-1860 (Norton Documents Reader). New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
Russell, Thomas D. "South Carolina’s Largest Slave Auctioneering Firm." Chicago-Kent Law Review, no. 68 (1993). Read for free at SSRN.com
Russell, Thomas D. "Articles Sell Best Singly: The Disruption of Slave Families at Court Sales." Utah Law Review, Vol. 1996, p. 1161-1209, 1996. Available free at SSRN.com
Saad, Layla F. (paid link) Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. Napreville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, 2020.
Scarborough, William K. (paid link) Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003, 2006. Read for Free at Project MUSE
Schermerhorn, Calvin, and Jack Lawrence Schermerhorn. (paid link) The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815–1860. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2015.
Schipper, Martin P., Charles B. Dew, and Randolph Boehm. Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries. Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1991. Guide to microfilm editions at FamilySearch
Schwartz, Marie J. (paid link) Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2006.
Sommerville, Diane M. (paid link) Rape and Race in the Nineteenth-Century South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Stampp, Kenneth. (paid link) Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1956.
Stephenson, Wendell H. (paid link) Isaac Franklin, Slave Trader and Planter of the Old South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1938.
Stevenson, Bryan. (paid link) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014.
Streets, David H. (paid link) Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1986.
Strickland, Jeff. The American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission, 19th-Century Racial Pseudoscience, and the False Assessment of Black America, 1863–1864. Read for free at SHFG
Sublette, Ned, and Constance Sublette. (paid link) The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding. Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, 2017.
Sublette, Ned. (paid link) The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2008.
Sutch, Richard C. "The Breeding of Slaves for sale and the westward expansion of slavery, 1850-1860." Institute of Business and Economic Research, No. 10. Berkeley: University of California,1972. Borrow eBook at Worldcat
Tadman, Michael. (paid link) Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
Tatum, Beverly. (paid link) “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations about Race. New York: Basic Books, 2017.
Taylor, Yuval., ed. (paid link) I Was Born a Slave: An Anthology of Classic Slave Narratives Vol. II, 1849-1866. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.
Villanueva, Edgar. (paid link) Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018.
Wayne, Michael. (paid link) The Reshaping of Plantation Society: The Natchez District 1860-1880 Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
White, Richard. (paid link) The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 Oxford History of the United States. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Wilkerson, Isabel. (paid link) The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Random House, 2016.
Williams, Heather A. (paid link) Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016.
Williams, Heather A. (paid link) Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Williams, Joel. (paid link) The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Wilson, Charles Reagan. Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980.
Woodson, Jacqueline. (paid link) Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Penguin Group, 2014.
Woolfolk, George R. "Taxes and Slavery in the Ante Bellum South." The Journal of Southern History 26, no. 2 (1960): 180-200. Accessed May 12, 2020. doi:10.2307/2955182. Read for free at Jstor
Yagyu, Tomoku. 2006. Slave Traders and Planters In the Expanding South: Entrepreneurial Strategies, Business Networks, and Western Migration In the Atlantic World, 1787-1859. https://doi.org/10.17615/vatj-2e80 Read free at UNC
Yetman, Norman R. “The Background of the Slave Narrative Collection.” American Quarterly 19, no. 3 (1967): 534–53. Read for free at DOI.org
Zaborney, John J. (paid link) Slaves for Hire: Renting Enslaved Laborers in Antebellum Virginia. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2012.
Adams, Luther. (paid link) Way Up North in Louisville: African American Migration in the Urban South, 1930-1970. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
Anderson, Robert. (paid link) From Slavery to Affluence: Memoirs of Robert Anderson, Ex-Slave. Hemingford, Neb: The Hemingford ledger, 1927.
Andrews, Susan C., and James P. Fenton. "Archaeology and the Invisible Man: The Role of Slavery in the Production of Wealth and Social Class in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, 1820 to 1870." World Archaeology 33, no. 1 (2001): 115-36. Accessed May 12, 2020. Read Free at JSTOR
Barton, Keith C. (paid link) "'Good Cooks and Washers': Slave Hiring, Domestic Labor, and the Market in Bourbon County, Kentucky." The Journal of American History 84, no. 2 (1997): 436-60. doi:10.2307/2952566.
Bigham, Darrel E. (paid link) On Jordan’s Banks: Emancipation and Its Aftermath in the Ohio River Valley. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006.
Bruner, Peter. (paid link) A Slave's Adventures Toward Freedom: Not Fiction, but the True Story of a Struggle. Oxford, Ohio: 1918. Read for free.
Bullitt, Thomas W. (paid link) My Life at Oxmoor; Life on a Farm in Kentucky Before the War. Louisville: Filson, 1911. Read Free at Internet Archive
Bush, Bryan S. (paid link) Louisville and the Civil War: A History and Guide. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2008.
Carlton, A.B. (paid link) The Law of Homicide, Together With the Trial for Murder of Judge Wilkinson, Dr. Wilkinson and Mr. Murdaugh: Including the Indictments, Evidence and Speeches of Hon. S. S. Prentiss, Hon. Benjamin Hardin, E. J. Bullock, Esq. Judge Rowan, Col. Robertson, and John B. Thompson, Esq. Of Counsel in Full. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co.,1923
Clark, Thomas D. (paid link) Kentucky: Land of Contrasts. New York: Harper and Row, 1968.
Clark, Thomas D. "The Slave trade between Kentucky and the Cotton Kingdom," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, vol. 21, issue 3 (Dec., 1934), pp.331-342. Read free at JSTOR. DOI: 10.2307/1897378
Coleman, J Winston. (paid link) Slavery Times in Kentucky. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940.
Coleman, J. Winston. (paid link) “Lexington’s Slave Dealers and Their Southern Trade.” The Filson Club History Quarterly 12, no. 1 (1938).
Courier-Journal Job Printing Company., ed. “A Confederate War Record.” The Lost Cause, No. 4 (1898): 41.
Crenshaw, Littleberry P.(paid link) Memoir of Mrs. Edmonia Hawkins Crenshaw: Wife of Rev. L.P. Crenshaw, of the Louisville Conference. Detroit: Hanna Co., 1863.
Duke, Basil W. (paid link) History of the Bank of Kentucky, 1792-1895: Including an Interesting Account of Early Banking. New York: J.P. Morton Co., 1895.
Fedric, Francis. (paid link) Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky; by Francis Fedric, an Escaped Slave. London: Wertheim, Macintosh and Hunt, 1863. Read Free at DocSouth
Fitzpatrick, Benjamin. "Negroes for Sale: The Slave Trade in Antebellum Kentucky." PhD diss., University of Notre Dame, 2010. Read Free at CurateND
Gibson, William H., Sr. Historical Sketches of the Progress of the Colored Race in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville: Bradley Gilbert Company, 1897.
Green, Elisha W. (paid link) Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green, Written by Himself. Maysville, Kentucky: The Republican Printing Office, 1888. Electronic Edition part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. Read Free at DocSouth
Hambleton Tapp, (paid link) "The Slavery Controversy Between Robert Wickliffe and Robert J. Breckinridge Prior to the Civil War." Filson Quarterly, XVIX, 156-69. Louisville: Filson Club (1945)
Harlow, Luke E. (paid link) Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830–1880. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Harrison, Lowell H. (paid link) The Civil War in Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1988.
Howard, Victor B. (paid link) Black Liberation in Kentucky: Emancipation and Freedom, 1862-1884. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.
Ireland, Robert M. (paid link) The County Courts in Antebellum Kentucky. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015.
James, Thomas. “The Autobiography of Rev. Thomas James.” Rochester History, XXXVII 1975: 1-32.
Johnson, Isaac. (paid link) Slavery Days in Old Kentucky: A True Story of a Father Who Sold His Wife and Four Children, By One of the Children. Ogdensburg, N.Y.: Republican Journal Print,1901. Electronic Edition part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. Read Free at DocSouth
Louisville Daily Union Press., January 20, 1865. Volume 1. Louisville, Kentucky, 1864-1865. Kentucky Digital Newspapers Program, Read Free at KentuckyNewspapers.org
King, Junie E.S. (paid link) Abstract of Early Kentucky Wills and Inventories, Copied from Original and Recorded Wills and Inventories. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1961
Klotter, James C., Friend, Craig Thompson. (paid link) A New History of Kentucky. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2018.
Klotter, Freda C. and Klotter, James C. (paid link) A Concise History of Kentucky. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008.
Lewis, Patrick. (paid link) For Slavery and Union: Benjamin Buckner and Kentucky Loyalties in the Civil War. University Press of Kentucky, Mar 9, 2015
Lucas, Marion B. (paid link) A History of Blacks in Kentucky: From Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891. Second ed. Frankfort: Kentucky Historical Society, 2003.
Marrs, Elijah P. (paid link) Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs, First Pastor of Beargrass Baptist Church, and Author. Louisville, Kentucky: The Bradley and Gilbert Company, 1885. Electronic Edition part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. Read for free at Doc South
McDowell, Robert E. (paid link) City of Conflict: Louisville in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Louisville Kentucky: Civil War Roundtable, 1962.
Messmer, Charles. “City in Conflict: A History of Louisville, Kentucky, 1860-1865.” Master’s thesis, University of Louisville, 1953.
Ramage, James A. and Watkins, Andrea S. (paid link) Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1986.
Ramage, James A. (paid link) Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2011.
Runyon, Randolph P. (paid link) Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015.
“Slavery in Louisville.” The Louisville Times, Sept 23, 1978
Smith, Harry. (paid link) Fifty Years of Slavery in the United States of America. Grand Rapids, Michigan: West Michigan Print. Co., 1891. Read for free.
Tallant, Harold D. (paid link) Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
Townsend, William H. (paid link) Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1955.
Weeden, Henry C. (paid link) Weeden’s History of the Colored People of Louisville. Louisville: H. C. Weeden, 1897. Read for free at NYPL. Universal Unique Identifier UUID: 191039e0-c60b-012f-e440-58d385a7bc34
Wilson, George D. A Century of Negro Education in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville: Louisville Municipal College, 1941. Library Locations provided by NKAA.uky.edu
Wright, George C. (paid link) A History of Blacks in Kentucky: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980 (Kentucky Historical Society)
Wright, George C. (paid link) Life Behind a Veil. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.
Wright, George C. (paid link) Racial Violence in Kentucky 1865-1940 : Lynchings, Mob Rule, and Legal Lynchings.” Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1996.
Yater, George H. (paid link) Two Hundred Years at the Falls of the Ohio: A History of Louisville and Jefferson County. Louisville, Kentucky: The Filson Club, 1987.
Butler, Octavia. (paid link) Kindred. Boston: Beacon Press, 2003.
Coates, TaNehisi. (paid link) The Water Dancer : A Novel. New York: One World, 2019.
Gyasi, Yaa. (paid link) Homegoing. New York: Penguin Random House, 2016.
Morrison, Toni, and Carl Plasa. (paid link) Toni Morrison, Beloved. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2000.
Picoult, Jodi. (paid link) Small Great Things: A Novel. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2018.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. (paid link) Uncle Tom’s Cabin. London: Cassell, 1852.
Thomas, Angie. (paid link) The Hate U Give. London: Walker Books And Subsidiaries, 2018.
Whitehead, Colson. (paid link) The Underground Railroad: A Novel. New York: Anchor Books, A Division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2018.