The relationship between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat is already one of the most iconic, intensely analyzed partnerships in the history of art. Ishmael Reed, perhaps America's greatest living writer, brings the same unsparing, deeply researched perspective as he did for the Archway Editions bestseller The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, for a captivating, illuminating final word on the famous duo.
Already the subject of controversy during its original 2021-2022 run at the Theater for the New City in the East Village, Archway Editions is proud to bring you the unabridged text of The Slave Who Loved Caviar, Ishmael Reed’s latest feat of research and drama, the tragedy as disturbingly real for today’s artists as it was in the 1980’s.
Decades before the Civil War, Illinois’s status as a free state beckoned enslaved people, particularly those in Kentucky and Missouri, to cross porous river borders and travel toward new lives. While traditional histories of the Underground Railroad in Illinois start in 1839, and focus largely on the romanticized tales of white men, Larry A. McClellan reframes the story, not only introducing readers to earlier freedom seekers, but also illustrating that those who bravely aided them were Black and white, men and women. McClellan features dozens of individuals who made dangerous journeys to reach freedom as well as residents in Chicago and across northeastern Illinois who made a deliberate choice to break the law to help.
Barefoot to Chicago charts the evolution of the northeastern Illinois freedom network and shows how, despite its small Black community, Chicago emerged as a point of refuge. The 1848 completion of the I & M Canal and later the Chicago to Detroit train system created more opportunities for Black men, women, and children to escape slavery. From eluding authorities to confronting kidnapping bands working out of St. Louis and southern Illinois, these stories of valor are inherently personal. Through deep research into local sources, McClellan presents the engrossing, entwined journeys of freedom seekers and the activists in Chicagoland who supported them.
McClellan includes specific freedom seeker journey stories and introduces Black and white activists who provided aid in a range of communities along particular routes. This narrative highlights how significant biracial collaboration led to friendships as Black and white abolitionists worked together to provide support for freedom seekers traveling through the area and ultimately to combat slavery in the United States.
A riveting account of the extraordinary abolitionist, liberator, and writer Thomas Smallwood, who bought his own freedom, led hundreds out of slavery, and named the underground railroad, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Scott Shane. Flee North tells the story for the first time of an American hero all but lost to history.
Born into slavery, Thomas Smallwood was free, self-educated, and working as a shoemaker a short walk from the U.S. Capitol by the 1840s. He recruited a young white activist, Charles Torrey, and together they began to organize mass escapes from Washington, Baltimore, and surrounding counties to freedom in the north.
They were racing against an implacable enemy: men like Hope Slatter, the region's leading slave trader, part of a lucrative industry that would tear one million enslaved people from their families and sell them to the brutal cotton and sugar plantations of the deep south.
Men, women, and children in imminent danger of being sold south turned to Smallwood, who risked his own freedom to battle what he called “the most inhuman system that ever blackened the pages of history.” And he documented the escapes in satirical newspaper columns, mocking the slaveholders, the slave traders and the police who worked for them.
At a time when Americans are rediscovering a tragic and cruel history and struggling anew with the legacy of white supremacy, this book -- the first to tell the extraordinary story of Smallwood -- will offer complicated heroes, genuine villains, and a powerful narrative set in cities still plagued by shocking racial inequity today.
Unearthing the progenitors of the Haitian Revolution has been a historical project of two hundred years. In A Secret among the Blacks, John D. Garrigus introduces two dozen Black men and women and their communities whose decades of resistance to deadly environmental and political threats preceded and shaped the 1791 revolt.
In the twenty-five miles surrounding the revolt’s first fires, enslaved people of diverse origins lived in a crucible of forces that arose from the French colonial project. When a combination of drought, trade blockade, and deadly anthrax bacteria caused waves of death among the enslaved in the 1750s, poison investigations spiraled across plantations. Planters accused, tortured, and killed enslaved healers, survivors, and community leaders for deaths the French regime had caused. Facing inquisition, exploitation, starvation, and disease, enslaved people devised resistance strategies that they practiced for decades. Enslaved men and women organized labor stoppages and allied with free Blacks to force the French into negotiations. They sought enforcement of freedom promises and legal protection from abuse. Some killed their abusers.
Through remarkable archival discoveries and creative interpretations of the worlds endured by the enslaved, A Secret among the Blacks reveals the range of complex, long-term political visions pursued by enslaved people who organized across plantations located in the seedbed of the Haitian Revolution. When the call to rebellion came, these men and women were prepared to answer.
Slavery, Capitalism and the Industrial RevolutionMaxine Berg, Pat HudsonThe role of slavery in driving Britain's economic development is often debated but seldom given a central place.
In their remarkable new book, Maxine Berg and Pat Hudson “follow the money” to document in revealing detail the role of slavery in the making of Britain’s industrial revolution. Slavery was not just a source of wealth for a narrow circle of slave owners who built grand country houses and filled them with luxuries. The forces set in motion by the slave and plantation trades seeped into almost every aspect of the economy and society.
In textile mills, iron and copper smelting, steam power, and financial institutions, slavery played a crucial part. Things we might think far removed from the taint of slavery, like 18th century fashions for indigo- patterned cloth, sweet tea, snuff boxes, mahogany furniture, ceramics and silverware, were intimately connected. Even London’s role as a centre for global finance was partly determined by the slave trade as insurance, financial trading and mortgage markets were developed in the City to promote distant and risky investments in enslaved people.
The result is a bold and unflinching account of how Britain became a global superpower, and how the legacy of slavery persists. Acknowledging Britain’s role in slavery is not just about toppling statues and renaming streets. We urgently need to come to terms with slavery’s inextricable links with Western capitalism, and the ways in which many of us continue to benefit from slavery to this day.
With Slavery, Capitalism, and Women’s Literature, Kristin Allukian makes an important contribution to slavery and capitalism scholarship by including the voices of some of the best-known nineteenth-century American women writers. Women’s literature offers crucial and previously unconsidered economic insights into the relationship between slavery and capitalism, different from those we typically find in economics and economic histories.
Allukian demonstrates that because women’s imaginative and creative texts take the material-historical connection of slavery and capitalism as their starting point, they can be read for the more speculative extensions of that connection, extensions not possible to discover on a material-historical level. Indeed, Allukian contends, these authors and texts disclose unique economic insights, critiques, and theories in ways that are only possible through literary writing.
The writers featured in this study—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucy Larcom, Harriet Jacobs, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper—published written accounts of the continuities between slavery and capitalism including between language and activism, accounting and sentimentalism, labor and technology, race and property, and inheritance and reparations. Their essays, novels, poems, and autobiographies provided forums to document data, stimulate debate, generate resistance, and imagine alternatives to the United States’ developing capitalist economy, engined and engineered by slavery. Without their unique economic insights, the national narrative we tell about the relationship between slavery and capitalism is incomplete.
Historian Jonathan W. White tells the riveting story of Appleton Oaksmith, a swashbuckling sea captain whose life intersected with some of the most important moments, movements, and individuals of the mid-19th century, from the California Gold Rush, filibustering schemes in Nicaragua, Cuban liberation, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. Most importantly, the book depicts the extraordinary lengths the Lincoln Administration went to destroy the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade. Using Oaksmith’s case as a lens, White takes readers into the murky underworld of New York City, where federal marshals plied the docks in lower Manhattan in search of evidence of slave trading. Once they suspected Oaksmith, federal authorities had him arrested and convicted, but in 1862 he escaped from jail and became a Confederate blockade-runner in Havana. The Lincoln Administration tried to have him kidnapped in violation of international law, but the attempt was foiled. Always claiming innocence, Oaksmith spent the next decade in exile until he received a presidential pardon from U.S. Grant, at which point he moved to North Carolina and became an anti-Klan politician. Through a remarkable, fast-paced story, this book will give readers a new perspective on slavery and shifting political alliances during the turbulent Civil War Era.