A chapter of African-American history that will shock many readers
Most Americans, both black and white, believe that slavery was a system exclusively maintained by whites to exploit blacks, but Larry Koger's authoritative study portrays the small yet significant role that African Americans played as masters in the peculiar institution. By profiling South Carolina's diverse population of African-American slaveowners, he demonstrates that free African-Americans embraced slavery as a viable economic system and that they—like their white counterparts—exploited the labor of slaves on their farms and in their businesses.
Koger sheds light on the rationale behind African-American slaveholding, reveals the caste system that existed within antebellum African-American society, and challenges the notion that African Americans purchased slaves primarily for humanitarian reasons.
Larry Koger holds an M.A. in history from Howard University and lives in Washington, D.C.