It is hard to imagine that, once, a person in America could be "owned" by another person. But from the time the colonies were settled in the 1600s until the end of the Civil War in 1865, millions of black people were bought and sold like goods. Where did the slaves come from? Where did they live when they were brought to this country? What kind of work did they do? With compassion and respect for the enslaved, this book answers questions children might have about this era in American history.
How do we know what it was like to be a slave? Did the English use slaves when they first came to America? Why did slavery start in America? Were all slaves brought over from Africa? Where did American slaves live? What was a cabin in the Quarters like? Where would you sleep? Why did some cabins have tilted chimneys? What would you wear? What would you eat? How did people get extra food? Would you live with your father and mother? What if your father belonged to another slave owner? What would your name be? What happened when slaves were sold? When would you need a pass? What happened if you didn't have a pass? Would you go to school? Did some owners teach their slaves to read? Why weren't slaves allowed to read and write? Were slaves punished for knowing how to read? What kind of work did slaves do? Did slaves have to work very hard? Did the children have to work? Was there time for play? What games would you play? How did slaves help one another? What rule did every slave child learn? Were slaves allowed to get married? What was "jumping the broom"? What was the best time of the year? What was the first thing you'd say on Christmas Day? How would you find out the latest news? Why was corn shucking fun? Were any black people free? How could you become free? Could you be made a slave even if you were free? Was it dangerous to run away? What happened during the Civil War? What was the first thing you would do when slavery ended? When did slavery end?
"First printing, February 2004." "Art Direction by Madalina Stefan Blanton." "Book Design by David Neuhaus." Publisher's advertisements:  page at end.
Kislak Center Banks Collection copy presented to the Penn Libraries in 2018 by Joanna Banks.