Off the plantation
Even well into the 21st century, the United States is still at work coming to difficult terms with its slave-owning past. Universities have undertaken initiatives to (re)discover their roles in and benefits from the slave-based economy, historic plantations have (and are) reconfiguring their interpretive programs to focus on the former slave populations, and contemporary African American descendants have undertaken the painstaking work of investigating their ancestry, families that were split up and dispersed and who lacked formal birth, marriage, and other formal records. Although the great majority of enslaved Africans worked on southern plantations, this writer looks at the lives of slaves who lived and worked in urban homes and businesses.
Peeling back history's layers, exposing slavery's stories
By Patricia Sullivan
The Washington Post
November 27, 2016