Sherri Burr Complicated Lives: Free Blacks in Virginia 1619-1865
Date, Time & Location
About the Event
Complicated Lives upends the pervasive belief that all Africans landing on the shores of Virginia, beginning in late August 1619, became slaves. In reality, many of these kidnap victims received the status of indentured servants. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of free African Americans in the South and North owned property, created businesses, and engaged in public service. Complicated Lives further explores the lives of Free Blacks through the lens of the author’s ancestors and other Free Blacks who lived this history, including those who served in the integrated troops commanded by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Sherri Burr is professor emerita at the University of New Mexico.
"Complicated Lives has the potential to redefine the racial divide in our country in the most positive way of any book in my generation. We need to understand both our origins and the affection, anger, and fear that we carry within our collective integrated souls."—Theodore Parnall, Dean Emeritus, University of New Mexico, author of Life and Law in Interesting Places: An Improbable Journey