To Be a Slave fills a void in the documentation of American history by providing a concrete illustration of the culture and history of blacks in the Americas, particularly in the United States. The book focuses on the plight of blacks: their brutal capture in Africa, their confined passage to America in slave ships, and their subsequent servitude. Rather than offering a dry summary of these events, Lester brings history to life, presenting the testimony of former slaves who describe their experiences in visceral detail. Because most slaves were illiterate, their stories were...
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