This landmark history of slavery in the South—a winner of the Bancroft Prize—challenged conventional views of slaves by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society.
Rather than emphasizing the cruelty and degradation of slavery, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that slaves forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. Not merely passive victims, the slaves in this account actively engaged with the paternalism of slaveholding culture in ways that supported their self-respect and aspirations for freedom. Roll, Jordan, Roll covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to the language, food, clothing, and labor of slaves, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength. Displaying keen insight into the minds of both slaves and slaveholders, Roll, Jordan, Roll is a testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsBook One: God is Not Mocked
Part 1. Of the Willing and the Obedient
Part 2. ...and the Children Brought Up
Book Two: The Rock and the Church
Part 1. Of the God of the Living
Part 2. ...and Every Man According as His Work Shall Be
Book Three: The Valley of the Shadow
Part 1. Of the Sons of Jacob
Part 2. ...and the Coat of Many Colors
Book Four: Whom God Hath Hedged In
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think the book could have been better organized. I felt like it started at the end talking about slaves leaving the plantations after the Civil War then going back to the history of paternalism among slaves. It made the first part very boring. Once I was into the history and the relational dynamics, I liked the book. It is very long, but it is a worthwhile read.I will say it was wonderful to have gone through The Well-Educated Mind book list prior to this book (it is one of the last on the list). I had read Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Up from Slavery, Souls of Black Folk, Native Son, Song of Solomon, Invisible Man, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Battle Cry of Freedom, and poetry of Langston Hughes, Rita Dove, and the incredible Paul Laurence Dunbar (my favorite American poet!). It gave me a good foundation for reading Roll, Jordan, Roll because he references many of these books in his work.
A cornerstone to understanding the antebellum period in the US