Title: Slaves in the Family
Author: Ball, Edward
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York
Publication Date: 1998
Edition: First Edition
Book Condition: NF
D-j Condition: F
Comments: Tight copy. Small stain on front board.
Synopsis: Journalist Ball confronts the legacy of his family’s slave-owning past, uncovering the story of the people, both black and white, who lived and worked on the Balls’ South Carolina plantations. It is an unprecedented family record that reveals how the painful legacy of slavery continues to endure in America’s collective memory and experience. Ball, a descendant of one of the largest slave-owning families in the South, discovered that his ancestors owned 25 plantations, worked by nearly 4,000 slaves.
Through meticulous research and by interviewing scattered relatives, Ball contacted some 100,000 African-Americans who are all descendants of Ball slaves. In intimate conversations with them, he garnered information, hard words, and devastating family stories of precisely what it means to be enslaved. He found that the family plantation owners were far from benevolent patriarchs; instead there is a dark history of exploitation, interbreeding, and extreme violence.