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From the Publisher"Provides a provocative analysis of African-American property. . . . Breaks new ground and enlivens old debates. . . . Will require historians to rethink their assumptions about the social and economic history of the South and African Americans in the nineteenth century."
— Georgia Historical Quarterly
"An important new look at the economic framework of slavery and the transition to freedom."
What did it mean, Penningroth asks, for people who were property to have property? The answers to this deceptively simple question utterly transform our understanding of the meaning of property in the South, the history of family and community in slavery, and the centrality of African history to American history.(Walter Johnson, New York University, author of Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market)
The Claims of Kinfolk makes a fine, original contribution to comparative nineteenth-century African American history. I'm particularly grateful for Penningroth's economic analysis of slave property in materia as well as cultural and personal terms. He opens up our narrow assumptions about the lives of enslaved and emancipated people, in both the New and Old Worlds. (Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University author of Southern History across the Color Line)