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Freedom by Any Means: Con Games, Voodoo Schemes, True Love and Lawsuits on the Underground Railroad Kindle Edition
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About the Author
DeRamus was one of an international group of select journalists who toured Central African refugee camps under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and one of a small group of journalists outside Voerster prison in 1990 when Nelson Mandela finally left his cell.
She has wriiten about African-American history for Essence, Time-Life, North Star Journal, and Black World. She is a former commentator for The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, The Michigan Chronicle, and the British Broadcasting Company. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Publication date : January 28, 2009
- Print length : 321 pages
- Publisher : Atria Books; Illustrated edition (January 28, 2009)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File size : 1003 KB
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B001QWDRFQ
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1416551107
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,903 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was instantly mesmerized with this book the moment I began reading the opening story of John Bowley, a skillful ship carpenter and freed slave, who daringly and cunningly showed up at a Maryland Slave auction in the mid-1800's with nothing more than some bold guts and a clever plan in a successful attempt to secure the freedom of his wife Kessiah (the niece of Harriet Tubman - The "Moses of Her People") and their two children who were all scheduled to be sold at auction to another slave-owner.
And I remained awestruck as I continued to read one untold historical event after another. And being a native of Tuskegee, Alabama, I was also intrigued with Tuskegee Institute's founder Booker T. Washington's description of the "grapevine telegram" - the invisible communication wire for slaves and freed blacks. Additionally, I was pleased to read an excerpt from a 1901 letter of Robert W. Taylor, financial secretary of Tuskegee Institute, to a newspaper editor concerning Harriet Tubman which reads, "She told me that when she found her mother unwilling to leave behind her feather bed tick, and her father his broad axe and other tools, she bundled up feather bed, broad axe, mother, father - all and landed them in Canada".
This expertly compiled masterpiece of "untold" historical events brings a whole new but most tasteful depiction to the accounts of African American freedom and history. As opposed to viewing slaves as a people who secured freedom through fear and avoidance, you now can appreciate an enduring account of slaves as strong people with a large vision who strategically and cleverly devised an effective and commendable plan of action for freedom. This took not only gutsy creativity but brilliant implementation.
And likewise, Author Betty DeRamus displays both gutsy creativity and brilliant implementation in her compilation of these remarkably documented untold stories. These intriguing pearls of history of American slavery should become integrated into the American history teaching curriculum of every educational facility. Needless to say, as author of "Freedom By Any means", DeRamus continues her excellence in documenting tales of African American history that she commendably started in her first book, "Forbidden Fruit".
My great, great, great grandfather has a short part in this book that should have led into the aftermath/outcome to his escape from slavery. Additional research provided for a more modern review would build a better path for readers like me to grasp an better understanding to a time so long ago.
This book is really a great start to understanding truth in the American history and African descendant roots.
DeRamus begins with the story of one John Bowley, a freeman who showed up at a slave auction in Cambridge, Maryland and masterfully escaped to Canada, with his 'sold' family in-tow. While most know the courageous story of Rosa Parks, which led to the infamous bus boycott, many have not heard of Elizabeth Jennings, a twenty-four-year old schoolteacher and church organist, who was thrown from a horse-drawn street car in 1854 because she would not give up her seat. Jennings successfully sued the driver and the Third Avenue Railway Company, and in 1885, a ruling eliminated racial segregation on public transportation in that city. Or, Callie House who, in 1898, organized the first convention of the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association. Or, Charlotte Hawkins Brown who, decades before the sit-ins of the 1960s, was served coffee in many North Carolina restaurants.
These encounters were clever and dangerous, but were accomplished with intelligence and love. The individuals in the escapades were inspired by a deep and abiding faith in their humanity. Although these are stories of past injustices, they still represent a hidden magnanimous history that deserves to be known. DeRamus makes readers acutely aware of the many ills that have not all been cured. I learned of key cities that were integral in assisting slaves as they journeyed on the Underground Railroad; many cities in Ohio and small unlikely cities, like Cassopolis and Cass County, in Michigan. Thorough research is evident as DeRamus exposed a network of families, white and black, whose ancestors played major roles as a race of people searched for freedom.
FREEDOM BY ANY MEANS amazed, enthralled and fascinated me, but mostly it filled me with the prideful knowledge that slaves found a semblance of an unrestricted life. They loved, lusted and lived life as complete as was humanly possible given the time and the season. This is a must read, especially for history buffs.
Reviewed by aNN
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers