Freedom by Any Means
Con Games, Voodoo Schemes, True Love and Lawsuits on the Underground Railroad
In this powerful follow-up to her Essence bestseller Forbidden Fruit, Betty DeRamus explores the ingenious ways slaves wrestled freedom for themselves and their loved ones.
In Forbidden Fruit DeRamus told the real-life love stories of enslaved African Americans whose relationships with each other and whites flourished in spite of the horrendous circumstances of the antebellum period. With the same lyrical style and attention to detail, Freedom By Any Means explains how African Americans resorted to using extraordinary methods to maintain their seemingly impossible personal relationships during this time of terror. Besides the tactics of running away together or raising money to buy their freedom, loved ones filed successful lawsuits, became military spies or counterspies, and used rumors of voodoo to create bluffs and tricks. Riveting and surprising, Betty DeRamus captures the tumultuous lives of the humans in inhumane situations who were able to salvage their families and marriages and achieve freedom together in spite of tremendous odds. Freedom By Any Means also features the return of many of the beloved figures from her previous book Forbidden Fruit, including Lucy Nichols, Al and Margaret Wood, and Sylvia and Louis Stark. This inspiring account steeped in rich historical research attests to the resolve of the human spirit and is a welcome addition to the library of American historical texts on this period.
- Atria Books, February 2009
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