NLM logo

Education Other Resources


  • Berlin, Ira, and Leslie M. Harris, eds. Slavery in New York. New York: The New Press, 2005.
  • Blanton, Wyndham B. Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century. Richmond, VA: Garrett and Massie, 1931.
  • Bower, Anne L., ed. African American Foodways: Explorations of History & Culture. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 2007.
  • Breen, T. H., and Stephen Innes. ‘Myne Owne Ground’: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640–1676. 25th anniversary ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Carney, Judith, and Richard Rosomoff. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. Berkeley, CA and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2009.
  • Edward-Ingram, Ywone. “‘Trash’ Revisited: A Comparative Approach to Historical Descriptions and Archaeological Analyses of Slave Houses and Yards.” In Keep Your Head to the Sky, Interpreting African American Home Ground. Edited by Grey Gundaker. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998.
  • Ferguson, Leland. “Handmade Pots.” In Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650–1800. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2004.
  • Fett, Sharla. Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.
  • Gaspar, David Barry, and Darlene Clark Hine, eds. More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
  • Genovese, Eugene. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Vintage Books, 1976.
  • Harris, Jessica. High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.
  • Harris, Leslie M. In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626–1863. Chicago: University Press of Chicago, 2003.
  • Katz-Hyman, Martha B. and Kym S. Rice. World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of the material life of slaves in the United States. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2011.
  • “Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery.” Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture, The New York Public Library. 2004. (accessed 10/7/2016).
  • Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1998.
  • Savitt, Todd. Medicine and Slavery: The Diseases and Health Care of Blacks in Antebellum Virginia. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1978.
  • Singleton, Theresa A., ed. “I, Too, Am America”: Archaeological Studies of African-American Life. Charlottesville, VA: University of Press of Virginia, 1999.
  • “Slavery and the Making of America.” Educational Broadcasting Corporation. 2004. (accessed 10/7/2016).
  • Voeks, Robert. “African medicine and magic in the Americas.” Geographical Review 83, no. 1 (January 1993): 66–78.
  • White, Deborah Grey. Ar’n’t I A Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South. 1985. Reprinted, New York: W.W. Norton, 1999.
  • Yentsch, Anne E. A Chesapeake Family and Their Slaves: A Study in Historical Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994



  • Blos, Joan. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830–1832. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1990.
    Level: Grades 6–8
    This fictional story centers around Catherine Hall, a thirteen-year-old girl living in rural New Hampshire. This novel, written in diary form, details Catherine’s life as she encounters and aids a runaway slave, mourns the death of her best friend, and adjusts to her father’s remarriage.
  • Collier, James and Christopher. Jump Ship to Freedom. New York: Yearling Books, 1987.
    Level: Grades 6–8
    The book chronicles the journey of Daniel Arabus, a fourteen-year-old slave in colonial America. After his father’s death, Arabus fights for his freedom and that of his mother from the household of Captain Ivers. To do so, he must recover the money his father earned as a solider during the American Revolution to prove his free status.
  • Erickson, Paul. Daily Life on a Southern Plantation 1853. New York: Puffin Books, 2000.
    Level: Grade 3–7
    This illustrated book details a typical day on a sugar plantation in 1853 and describes life in the antebellum south, including mealtimes, leisure hours, and slave meetings. Readers will learn about the origins and conventions of slavery, while following the lives of the Henderson family and their slaves in New Iberia, Louisiana.
  • Feelings, Tom. The Middle Passage: White Ships Black Cargo. New York: Dial Books, 1995.
    Level: Grade 6 and up
    This intense picture book vividly illustrates the horrors of the Middle Passage for slaves. The narrative paintings show how African men, women, and children were crowded into disease filled death ships and brought to the new world.
  • Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer. New York: Dell-Laurel Leaf, 1996.
    Level: Grades 6–9
    The Slave Dancer follows the journey of thirteen-year-old Jessie, who is kidnapped because of his ability to play the fife. Onboard a ship, he becomes an unwilling participant in the slave trade. Jessie is tasked to play music so that the slaves may “dance” to keep their muscles strong for the benefit of the slave traders onboard the ship.
  • Fritz, Jean. Brady. New York: Puffin Books, 1987.
    Level: Grades 6–8
    Set in 1836 in Pennsylvania, this is a story about Brady, a teenager who discovers an Underground Railroad station near his home. Brady must learn to keep a secret when he comes to understand the effects his actions have on something larger than himself.
  • Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
    Level: Grades 3–5
    The author, Virginia Hamilton, retells 24 African American folktales, many of which are stories about enslaved people gaining freedom. The full color illustrations contribute to the inspiration of the stories.
  • Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Illustrated by James Ransome. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
    Level: Grades 3–5
    Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt tells the story of a young slave girl named Clara who sews a quilt with a map of the Underground Railroad so that she’ll remember the way to the Ohio River. Other slaves, realizing what Clara is doing, add details to the map. When Clara is ready, she leaves the quilt behind to help guide others to freedom.
  • Levine, Ellen. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Scholastic Press, 2007.
    Level: Grades 2–5
    In this fictionalization of a true story, Henry Brown, an enslaved man, mails himself to freedom, sailing to Philadelphia in a packing crate after having been separated from his wife and children.
  • McKissack, Patricia and Frederick. Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. Illustrated by John Thompson. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
    Level: Grades 4–7
    The narrative describes the preparations being made for Christmas by the enslaved people of a Virginia plantation in 1859. This book shows the stark contrast between the lifestyles of the plantation owners and enslaved people, and explores their complex relationship through their experiences of the holiday.
  • Paterson, Katherine. Jip: His Story. New York: Puffin Books, 1996.
    Level: Grades 3–5
    This is the story of a boy named Jip, who learns his identity while living and working on a poor farm in Vermont and discovers that his mother was a runaway slave and his father was a plantation owner from the South.
  • Paulsen, Gary. Sarny: a Life Remembered. New York: Dell-Laurel Leaf, 1999.
    Level: Grades 6–8
    Gary Paulsen revisits Sarny, a young slave from the novel, Nightjohn, and follows her story to adulthood at the end of the Civil War. After Sarny flees the plantation, she searches for her children who have been sold away, with the hope of rebuilding a life with them during a time of change.
  • Rinaldi, Ann. Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons: The Story of Phyllis Wheatley. New York: Gulliver Books, 1996.
    Level: Grades 9–12
    This is a fictionalized biography of poet Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved person who became America’s first published African American poet. This book chronicles her dreadful journey from Africa to Boston and becoming a slave of the Wheatley family. Whilst enslaved, the family taught her to read and admired her poetry, and introduced her to many of the personages of the time: John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, among others.
  • Turner, Ann. Nettie’s Trip South. Illustrated by Ronald Hilmer. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.
    Level: Grades 4–7
    Through a series of letters, a girl from the North communicates her glimpses of slavery in the American South.
  • Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Great Illustrated Classics). Adapted by Deidre S. Laiken. Illustrated by Earl Norem. New York: Baronet Publications, 2008.
    Level: Grades 7–9
    This is an illustrated abridgement of the classic novel, published in large type for early readers. Huckleberry Finn journeys down the Mississippi River, befriending runaway slave, Jim, and encountering thieves, murderers, and con men along the way.
  • Wait, Lea. Seaward Born. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003.
    Level: Grades 3–5
    In 1805, a thirteen year-old enslaved boy named Michael escapes from Charleston aboard a ship bound for Boston. As an escaped slave, he is not free and must go further north for freedom.


  • Bial, Raymond. The Underground Railroad. New York: Houghton, 1999.
    Level: Grades 5–7
    Full color photographs of the relics of slavery in America illustrate this brief explanation of the institution of slavery and those who suffered under it.
  • DK Publishing Staff. Slavery: Real People and their Stories of Enslavement. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2009.
    Level: Grades 3–7
    This title offers a thorough overview of the history of slavery in the United States using images and research to present stories of enslavement in an accessible, easy to read format.
  • Freedman, Russell. Lincoln: a Photobiography. New York: Clarion Books, 1987.
    Level: Grades 5–7
    Freedman delivers a biography of President Abraham Lincoln, illustrated by photographs.
  • Hamilton, Virginia. Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
    Level: Grades 6–9
    Hamilton looks at slavery from the early 1600s. The story is brought to life with personal tales and the illustrations of Leo and Diane Dillon.
  • Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Edited by Lydia Maria Child. Boston, MA: 1861. Available online at (audio) and (electronic edition).
    Level: Grades 6 and up
    In an autobiography originally published in 1861, Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) recounts being enslaved in North Carolina under a particularly brutal plantation owner. This is one of the first personal narratives of slavery written by a woman.
  • Lester, Julius. From Slave Ship to Freedom Road. Illustrated by Rod Brown. New York: Puffin Books, 1999.
    Level: Grades 3–7
    Lester describes slavery from the early days of the Atlantic slave trade to the end of the U.S. Civil War, illustrating the story with the paintings of Rod Brown.
  • Mitchell, Patricia. Soul on Rice: African Influences on American Cooking. Patricia B. Mitchell, 1993.
    Level: Grades 9 and up
    Written as a resource for museums and published for the general audience, Soul on Rice focuses on the African American influences on American cooking, using recipes and descriptions of foods consumed throughout African American food history.
  • The Monticello Classroom. Thomas Jefferson Foundation. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    Level: Grades 3 and up
    The Monticello Classroom offers learning resources, activities, and an image gallery for teachers and students, centered on slavery and plantation life. This link includes an image of the approximated weekly food ration for a slave.
  • Myers, Walter Dean. One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999.
    Level: Grades 4 and up
    This photographic reflection of African American portraits reveals the historical struggles to freedom that the Great Migration embodies. Text combined with the photographs demonstrates the history of African Americans from slavery to the present.
  • Northrup, Solomon. 12 Years a Slave: A True Story of Betrayal, Kidnap, and Slavery. New York: Hesperus Press, Ltd., 2013.
    Level: Grades 6 and up
    In this memoir, Northrup recounts being kidnapped and sold into slavery, the hardships of his enslaved life, and being rescued 12 years later.
  • Rockwell, Anne. Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2000.
    Level: Grades 3–5
    This illustrated biography follows the life of Sojourner Truth, a former slave who became one of the most well-known and lauded abolitionists and women’s rights activists in U.S. history. It also offers a look at northern slavery in the United States.
  • Watkins, Richard. Slavery: Bondage Throughout History. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001.
    Level: Grades 6 and up
    Watkins discusses slavery’s significant role in civilizations from Babylon to the Nazis.


  • “A 19th Century Slave Diet.” National Park Service, U.S. Dept of the Interior.
    // (accessed 10/21/2016).
    The National Park Service at the Booker T. Washington National Moment offers an introduction to 19th century slave diets, based on Booker T. Washington’s autobiographical works, The Story of My Life and Work and Up from Slavery.
  • “Foodways.” Colonial Williamsburg. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    Colonial Williamsburg’s Foodways explores role of food in the social lives of 18th-century Virginians. Learn about the distinctions between upper, middle, and lower class meals. On the left side of the page, select from a variety of topics to learn more about the people, places, and trades of colonials and African Americans in Virginia. On the right side of the page, the Department of Historic Foodways provides multimedia resources including journal articles and slideshows related to colonial food history.
  • “From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822–1909.” Library of Congress.
    // (accessed 10/21/2016).
    “From Slavery to Freedom” is a Library of Congress collection including 397 pamphlets published from 1822 through 1909, centering on African American history. This collection includes first-person accounts of slavery, tracts from anti-slavery organizations, legislative and presidential campaign materials, investigative reports, sermons, commencement addresses, organizational proceedings, and previously published materials from newspapers and magazines.
  • Montpelier Slaves. James Madison’s Montpelier. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    Montpelier Slaves explores daily life at Montpelier, the home of James and Dolly Madison. Learn how the seven generations of African Americans who were born into slavery at Montpelier endured plantation life. Domestic Servants describes the lives of those working in James and Dolly Madison’s household and handling their food provisions.
  • Nelson, Davia, and Nikki Silva. “Hercules and Hemings: Presidents’ Slave Chefs.” National Public Radio. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    National Public Radio offers both a written text and an audio piece focusing on some of the first cooks to feed the Founding Fathers — the enslaved chefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The stories of Hercules and Hemings, black cooks in the White House, demonstrate the struggle between slavery and freedom.
  • Pinchin, Karen. “How Slaves Shaped American Cooking.” National Geographic. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    “How Slaves Shaped American Cooking.” is an article from National Geographic on how slaves continued African food traditions by planting the seeds of their home continent’s foods in American cuisine. The article explains how these foods became part of American food culture.
  • “The Slave Experience: Living Conditions.” Public Broadcasting Service. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    Part of the Public Broadcasting System’s online resource, Slavery and the Making of America, “The Slave Experience: Living Conditions” explores how the life circumstances of enslaved people were impacted by factors like region, local laws, work skills, time period, and proximity to plantation owners. Learn about weekly food rations for slaves, which represent the relationships that African Americans had with slave owners.
  • Weinsteiger, Brigitte “Fast Food in Colonial America.” Penn State University Center for Medieval Studies. (accessed 10/21/2016).
    “Fast Food in Colonial America” is an article from Penn State University that looks at how quickly-prepared meals and provisions for travelers served a number of purposes in colonial America.