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‘Freedom Found: Untold Stories of the Civil War’s Refugees from Slavery’ – Announcing the 2020 Readex ALA Midwinter Breakfast Event

Posted on 12/09/2019

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On Sunday, January 26, Readex will host a special breakfast presentation titled “Freedom Found: Untold Stories of the Civil War’s Refugees from Slavery” at the 2020 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. An open discussion will follow the talk by acclaimed author Amy Murrell Taylor, Professor of History and winner of multiple outstanding teacher awards at the University of Kentucky.

About the Presentation

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The liberation of four million men, women, and children from slavery in the United States is often told as a one-man, one-moment story centered on Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. This talk revisits that story by looking at the emergence of Civil War “contraband” camps, settlements of over 500,000 refugees from slavery who sought protection inside the lines of the Union Army. It tells the untold stories of the many people and moments that accomplished the real work of seeking freedom in the Civil War, and considers why an elemental part of Emancipation’s history has remained relatively hidden in American memory. What challenges lie in the way of reconstructing this history—and in reshaping the way that most Americans understand this momentous period?

About the Speaker

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Amy Murrell Taylor is Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. Her most recent book, Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps (UNC Press, 2018), has been honored with multiple prizes, including the Frederick Douglass Prize given by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; the Avery O. Craven Award and the Merle Curti Social History Award from the Organization of American Historians; and the Tom Watson Brown Prize from the Society of Civil War Historians. Taylor is a member of the advisory board for Civil War Monitor and co-editor of the UnCivil Wars series at the University of Georgia Press.

If you plan to attend the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting, and would like to receive an invitation to this breakfast event, please contact Readex before Friday, January 3, 2020.

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