Girl in black and white : the story of Mary Mildred Williams and the abolition movement /

by Morgan-Owens, Jessie [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2019]Edition: First edition.Description: 324 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780393609240; 0393609243.Other title: Story of Mary Mildred Williams and the abolition movement.Subject(s): Williams, Mary Mildred, 1847-1921 | Williams, Mary Mildred, 1847-1921 -- Family | Child slaves -- United States -- Biography | Slaves -- United States -- Biography | Photographs -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Colorism -- United States | Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Racism -- United States -- History -- 19th century | United States -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century | Nonfiction | Biography | History
Contents:
Prologue: Boston, May 29, 1855 -- Constance Cornwell, Prince William County, Virginia, 1805 -- Prudence Nelson Bell, Nelson's Plantation and Mill, 1826 -- Jesse and Albert Bell Nelson, Washington, 1847 -- Henry Williams, Boston, 1850 -- John Albion Andrew, Boston, 1852 -- Elizabeth Williams, Prince William County, 1852 -- Evelina Bell, Washington, February 1855 -- Mary Hayden Green Pike, Calais, Maine, November 1854 -- Julian Vannerson, Washington, February 1855 -- Richard Hildreth, Boston, March 1855 -- Charles Sumner, Washington, February 1855 -- "A white slave from Virginia," New York, March 1855 -- The Williams family, Boston, March 7, 1855 -- "Features, skin, and hair," Boston, March 1855 -- Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Worcester, Massachusetts, March 27, 1855 -- "The antislavery enterprise," Boston, March 29, 1855 -- Private life, Boston, October 1855 -- "The crime against Kansas," Washington, May 1856 -- Frederick Douglass, Boston, 1860 -- Prudence Bell, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1864 -- Epilogue: Hyde Park, Massachusetts, 2017.
Summary: "The riveting, little-known story of Mary Mildred Williams--a slave girl who looked 'white'--whose photograph transformed the abolitionist movement. When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family's freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams unexpectedly became the face of American slavery. During a sold-out abolitionist lecture series, Senator Charles Sumner paraded Mary in front of rapt audiences as evidence that slavery knew no bounds. Weaving together long-overlooked primary sources and arresting images, including the daguerreotype that turned Mary into the poster child of a movement, Jessie Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. She restores Mary's story to history and uncovers a dramatic narrative of travels along the Underground Railroad, relationships tested by oppression, and the struggles of life after emancipation. The result is an exposé of the thorny racial politics of the abolitionist movement and the pervasive colorism that dictated where white sympathy lay--one that sheds light on a shameful legacy that still affects us profoundly today"-- Provided by publisher.Summary: When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family's freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams became the face of American slavery. A slave girl who looked 'white,' Mary was paraded before audiences during a sold-out abolitionist lecture series held by Senator Charles Sumner, and her photograph transformed the abolitionist movement. Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. In restoring Mary's story to history, she uncovers an exposé of the thorny racial politics of the abolitionist movement and the pervasive colorism that dictated where white sympathy lay. -- adapted from jacket
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Adult Collection Adult Biography BIO WIL, M. Available 39270004807503

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family's freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams unexpectedly became the face of American slavery. Famous abolitionists Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry David Thoreau, and John Albion Andrew would help Mary and her family in freedom, but Senator Charles Sumner saw a monumental political opportunity. Due to generations of sexual violence, Mary's skin was so light that she "passed" as white, and this fact would make her the key to his white audience's sympathy. During his sold-out abolitionist lecture series, Sumner paraded Mary in front of rapt audiences as evidence that slavery was not bounded by race.Weaving together long-overlooked primary sources and arresting images, including the daguerreotype that turned Mary into the poster child of a movement, Jessie Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. She follows Mary's story through the lives of her determined mother and grandmother to her own adulthood, parallel to the story of the antislavery movement and the eventual signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.Girl in Black and White restores Mary to her rightful place in history and uncovers a dramatic narrative of travels along the Underground Railroad, relationships tested by oppression, and the struggles of life after emancipation. The result is an exposé of the thorny racial politics of the abolitionist movement and the pervasive colorism that dictated where white sympathy lay--one that sheds light on a shameful legacy that still affects us profoundly today.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"The riveting, little-known story of Mary Mildred Williams--a slave girl who looked 'white'--whose photograph transformed the abolitionist movement. When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family's freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams unexpectedly became the face of American slavery. During a sold-out abolitionist lecture series, Senator Charles Sumner paraded Mary in front of rapt audiences as evidence that slavery knew no bounds. Weaving together long-overlooked primary sources and arresting images, including the daguerreotype that turned Mary into the poster child of a movement, Jessie Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. She restores Mary's story to history and uncovers a dramatic narrative of travels along the Underground Railroad, relationships tested by oppression, and the struggles of life after emancipation. The result is an exposé of the thorny racial politics of the abolitionist movement and the pervasive colorism that dictated where white sympathy lay--one that sheds light on a shameful legacy that still affects us profoundly today"-- Provided by publisher.

Prologue: Boston, May 29, 1855 -- Constance Cornwell, Prince William County, Virginia, 1805 -- Prudence Nelson Bell, Nelson's Plantation and Mill, 1826 -- Jesse and Albert Bell Nelson, Washington, 1847 -- Henry Williams, Boston, 1850 -- John Albion Andrew, Boston, 1852 -- Elizabeth Williams, Prince William County, 1852 -- Evelina Bell, Washington, February 1855 -- Mary Hayden Green Pike, Calais, Maine, November 1854 -- Julian Vannerson, Washington, February 1855 -- Richard Hildreth, Boston, March 1855 -- Charles Sumner, Washington, February 1855 -- "A white slave from Virginia," New York, March 1855 -- The Williams family, Boston, March 7, 1855 -- "Features, skin, and hair," Boston, March 1855 -- Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Worcester, Massachusetts, March 27, 1855 -- "The antislavery enterprise," Boston, March 29, 1855 -- Private life, Boston, October 1855 -- "The crime against Kansas," Washington, May 1856 -- Frederick Douglass, Boston, 1860 -- Prudence Bell, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1864 -- Epilogue: Hyde Park, Massachusetts, 2017.

When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family's freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams became the face of American slavery. A slave girl who looked 'white,' Mary was paraded before audiences during a sold-out abolitionist lecture series held by Senator Charles Sumner, and her photograph transformed the abolitionist movement. Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. In restoring Mary's story to history, she uncovers an exposé of the thorny racial politics of the abolitionist movement and the pervasive colorism that dictated where white sympathy lay. -- adapted from jacket

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this captivating book, Morgan-Owens (dean of studies, Bard Early Coll.) begins with Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner informing his Boston constituency about Mary Mildred Botts Williams, allowing that the seven-year-old former slave who looked "white" would be a guest on his antislavery circuit in April 1855. Sumner commissioned a daguerreotype of Mary to undermine his contemporaries' belief that they could see race and also to threaten the structure of the South's slave system. The author's commanding research relates how the senator and lawyer John Andrew copied and distributed Mary's likeness among state legislators, bookstores, and stationery shops in Boston. Morgan-Owens also includes background on how Mary's father, Seth, escaped servitude and purchased his entire family's liberty, along with efforts from antislavery figures such as Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Frederick Douglass, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to organize on Mary's behalf. Mary later earned her independence and escaped Jim Crow by securing a government clerkship and living with her partner in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. VERDICT A powerful salute to the memory of Mary Williams, antebellum America's demure symbol of human freedom. Highly recommended for U.S. middle period, African American historians, young adults, and all readers.-John Carver Edwards, formerly with Univ. of Georgia Libs. © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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