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Hard Road to Freedom Volume One

The Story of Black America

Lois E. Horton and James Oliver Horton

Publication Date - 01 July 2021

ISBN: 9780197564806

352 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Hard Road to Freedom offers the most powerfully written story of the Black American experience


Hard Road to Freedom tells the story of Black Americans from its roots in Africa to the social and political upheavals of today. It narrates the story of Black people in America as an expression of one of the nation's fundamental principles, the pursuit of freedom. Interweaving the experiences of individual Black Americans, it brings together stories formerly told separately. In vividly written chapters, Lois E. Horton and James Oliver Horton depict African Americans' central part in the creation of American civilization. Meticulously researched, Hard Road to Freedom blends these diverse strands into a rich tapestry of African American struggle and achievement.


  • Shows that African American history is a critical part of American history and that African Americans have figured prominently in the creation of American culture
  • Includes dramatic tales of the black experience-Gabriel Prosser's and Nat Turner's rebellion against slavery; the inventive and heroic escapes of William and Ellen Craft and Harriet Tubman; the accomplishments of Fredrick Douglass and Maggie Lena Walker; the bravery of Freedom Riders like John Lewis; and the sacrifice and determination of women like Fannie Lou Hamer.
  • Each chapter includes "Documenting Black America," that feature a wide range of primary sources, and "Profile," which offers a short biography of an individual whose life is central to the chapter's story.
  • Learning objectives and chapter review questions provide essential study aids.
  • Compelling full-color design with over 100 photographs and nearly 50 maps.
  • Available in combined and split volumes (Volume 1: Chapters 1-8; Volume 2: Chapters 8-17).
  • An enhanced eBook increases student engagement through quizzes, flashcards, and other digital learning tools.
  • Numerous digital teaching resources, including a course cartridge, are available to adopters at Oxford Learning Link https://learninglink.oup.com/

About the Author(s)

Lois E. Horton is Professor of History Emerita at George Mason University, where she taught Sociology, American Studies and History.

James Oliver Horton (1943-2017) was the Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History Emeritus at the George Washington University.

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    List of Special Features
    About the Authors

    Chapter 1 - Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade
    West Africa
    Europeans and the African Slave Trade
    The Middle Passage
    Growth of the Atlantic Slave Trade
    Profile: King Nzinga Mbemba Affonso
    Documenting Black America: King Nzinga Mbemba Affonso letters to King João III of Portugal

    Chapter 2 - The Evolution of Slavery in British North America
    Slavery in the Chesapeake
    Slavery Farther South
    Slavery in the Middle Colonies
    Slavery in New England
    Enslaved and Free Blacks
    Blacks and Native Americans
    Colonial Black Culture
    Profile: Anthony Johnson
    Documenting Black America: Venture Smith
    Black America: Report of Rebellion Plans in Virginia

    Chapter 3 - Slavery and Freedom in the Age of Revolution
    Social Disruption and the First Great Awakening
    Interracial Relationships and Discontent
    Crispus Attucks and the Boston Massacre
    Revolution and the Fight for American Freedom
    Black Soliders
    The Post-Revolutionary Question of Black Freedom
    Profile: Phillis Wheatley
    Documenting Black America: Petition for Freedom by Enslaved People in Massachusetts

    Chapter 4 - The Early Republic and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom
    The Question of Slavery in the New Nation
    Southern Fears of Black Freedom
    Growing Demand for Enslaved Labor in the Western South
    Expanding the Internal Slave Trade
    Establishing Free Black Communities in the North
    Free Black Americans in the South
    African Americans in the War of 1812
    The Issue of African Colonization
    Profile: Benjamin Banneker
    Documenting Black America: Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson

    Chapter 5 - Slavery and the Slave Community
    Violent Resistance
    Community among the Enslaved Workers
    Religion and Resistance
    Surviving Slavery
    Women in Slavery
    Brutal Labor and Resistance
    Profile: Abd al-Rahman Ibrahima
    Documenting Black America: Harriet Jacobs

    Chapter 6 - Free People of Color and the Fight against Slavery
    David Walker, William Lloyd Garrison, and the Liberator
    Integrated Abolitionism
    Black National Conventions
    Building an Antislavery Movement
    The Underground Railroad
    Militant Abolitionism and Political Power
    Profile: William Still
    Documenting Black America: Henry Highland Garnet

    Chapter 7 - From Militancy to Civil War
    The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    Growing Opposition
    Dred Scott v. Sanford
    John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry
    Abraham Lincoln's Election and the War
    The Emancipation Proclamation and Black Soldiers
    Profile: Margaret Garner
    Documenting Black America: Susie King Taylor (1848-1912)

    Chapter 8 - From Reconstruction to Jim Crow
    The War's End and Lincoln's Assassination
    Aid for Freed People
    Black Politics and Black Politicians
    Progress and White Terrorist Backlash
    Emigration from the South
    Legalized Racial Control
    Profile: Hiram Rhoades Revels
    Documenting Black America: The Reconstruction Amendments

    Appendix: Historical Documents

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