Summary: Life in Black and White provides a panoramic portrait of family and community life in and around Loudoun County, Virginia - weaving the fascinating personal stories of planters and slaves, of free blacks and poor-to-middling whites, into a powerful portrait of southern society from the mid-eighteenth century to the Civil War. Stevenson brilliantly recounts their stories as she builds the complex picture of their intertwined lives, revealing how their combined his ...show moretories guaranteed Loudoun's role in important state, regional, and national events and controversies. Both the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, for example, were hidden at a local plantation during the War of 1812. James Monroe wrote his famous "Monroe Doctrine" at his Loudoun estate. The area also was the birthplace of celebrated fugitive slave Daniel Dangerfield, the home of John Janney, chairman of the Virginia secession convention, a center for Underground Railroad activities, and the location of John Brown's infamous 1859 raid at Harper's Ferry. Most important, Stevenson breaks new ground in her depiction of slave family life. Following the lead of historian Herbert Gutman, most scholars have accepted the idea that, like whites, slaves embraced the nuclear family, both as a living reality and an ideal. Stevenson destroys this notion, showing that the harsh realities of slavery, even for those who belonged to such attentive masters as George Washington, allowed little possibility of a nuclear family. Far more important were extended kin networks and female headed households. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 96
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