The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans

Posted in Books, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Slavery, United States, Women on 2011-11-13 19:48Z by Steven

The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
November 2005
288 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-4229-0

John Bailey

It is a bright, spring morning in New Orleans, 1843. In the Spanish Quarter, on a street lined with flophouses and gambling dens, Madame Carl Rouff recognizes a face from her past. It is the face of Salomé Müller, her best friend’s daughter who disappeared twenty-five years earlier. But the young olive-skinned woman claims her name is Mary Miller—she is the property of a Frenchman who owns a nearby cabaret. She is a slave, with no memory of a “white” past, or of the Müller family’s perilous journey from its German village to New Orleans. And yet her resemblance to her mother is striking, and she bears two telltale birthmarks. Had a defenseless European orphan been callously and illegally enslaved, or was she an imposter? So began one of the most celebrated and sensational trials of nineteenth-century America.

In brilliant novelistic detail, award-winning historian John Bailey reconstructs the exotic sights, sounds, and smells of mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans, an “infernal motley crew” of cotton kings, decadent river workers, immigrants, and slaves. Miller’s dramatic trial offers an eye into the fascinating laws and customs surrounding slavery, immigration, and racial mixing. Did Miller, as her relatives sought to prove, arrive from Germany under perilous circumstances as an indentured servant or was she, as her master claimed, part African and a slave for life? The trial pits a humble community of German immigrants against Mary’s previous owner, John Fitz Miller, a hardened capitalist who is as respected by the community for his wealth and power as he is feared and distrusted, and his attorney, John Randolph Grymes, one of the brashest and most flamboyant lawyers of his time. Was Sally Miller’s licentious lifestyle proof that she was part African, as the defense argued? Or was she the victim of a terrible injustice? Bailey follows the case’s incredible twists and turns all the way to the Supreme Court, and comes to a shocking conclusion.

A tour de force of investigative history that reads like a suspense novel, The Lost German Slave Girl is a fascinating exploration of slavery and its laws, a brilliant reconstruction of mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans, and a riveting courtroom drama. It is also an unforgettable portrait of a young woman in pursuit of freedom.

Tags: , , ,

Black Skin, White Masks

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy on 2011-11-13 17:17Z by Steven

Black Skin, White Masks

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
September 2008 (Originially published in 1952)
240 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-4300-6

Frantz Fanon

Translated from the French by Richard Philcox

Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon’s, and Black Skin, White Masks represents some of his most important work. Fanon’s masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers.

A major influence on civil rights, anticolonial, and black consciousness movements internationally, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: The Black Man and Language
  • Chapter Two: The Woman of Color and the White Man
  • Chapter Three: The Man of Color and the White Woman
  • Chapter Four: The So-Called Dependency Complex of the Colonized
  • Chapter Five: The Lived Experience of the Black Man
  • Chapter Six: The Black Man and Psycho-pathology
  • Chapter Seven: The Black Man and Recognition
    • A. The Black Man and Adler
    • B. The Black Man and Hegel
  • Chapter Eight:By Way of Conclusion
Tags: , ,

A Free Man of Color

Posted in Books, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2011-11-13 03:27Z by Steven

A Free Man of Color

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
October 2011
112 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-4566-6

John Guare

John Guare’s new play is astonishing, raucous, and panoramic. A Free Man of Color is set in boisterous New Orleans prior to the historic Louisiana Purchase. Before law and order took hold and class, racial, and political lines were drawn, New Orleans was a carnival of beautiful women, flowing wine, and pleasure for the taking. At the center of this Dionysian world is the mulatto Jacques Cornet, who commands men, seduces women, and preens like a peacock. But it is 1801 and the map of New Orleans is about to be redrawn. The Louisiana Purchase brings American rule and racial segregation to the chaotic, colorful world of Jacques Cornet and all that he represents, turning the tables on freedom and liberty.

Tags: , , ,

The Memory of Love

Posted in Africa, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2011-11-13 03:03Z by Steven

The Memory of Love

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
January 2011
464 pages
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-1965-0
Paperback ISBN 13: 978-0-8021-4568-0

Aminatta Forna

  • Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book
  • Finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction
  • An Essence Book Club Pick

From the award-winning author of The Devil That Danced on the Water and Ancestor Stones comes The Memory of Love, a beautiful and masterfully accomplished novel about the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of love.

Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love has been hailed as a book of rare beauty and importance, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. With astounding depth and elegance, it takes the reader through the haunting atmosphere of a country at war, delicately intertwining the powerful stories of two generations of African life.

In contemporary Freetown, Sierra Leone, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a man who was young during the country’s turbulent postcolonial years and has stories to tell that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect in the buzzing city, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer by Adrian, a British psychiatrist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the center of their stories.

A work of breathtaking writing and rare wisdom, The Memory of Love seamlessly weaves together the lives of these three men to create a story of loss, absolution, and the indelible effects of the past—and, at the end of it all, the very nature of love.

Tags: , ,