W. Caleb McDaniel with Johann N. Neem
Rice University professor Caleb McDaniel retells the heroic story of Henrietta Wood, born into slavery in 1818, freed and then kidnapped and re-enslaved and freed again at the end of the Civil War. Harrietta Wood sued for lost wages and additional years of servitude and after 10 years of litigation, won both the original court case and the appeal, receiving the “largest known (settlement) ever awarded by a U.S. court in restitution from slavery.”
Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America (Oxford) is based on Dr. McDaniel research, including two interviews with Wood during the lawsuit. “Nearly a century after Wood's lawsuit, McDaniel recounts, Martin Luther King warned his supporters that the civil rights project would remain incomplete until African-Americans gained economic as well as political equality, and that any such improvements must be "demanded by the oppressed." McDaniel tells this story engrossingly and accessibly. This is a valuable contribution to Reconstruction history with clear relevance to current debates about reparations for slavery.”-Publishers Weekly.
Caleb McDaniel will appear in conversation with Johann N. Neem, Professor of History at Western Washington University and author most recently of What's the Point of College? (Johns Hopkins University Press).
Co-presented by Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum and Elliott Bay Book Company.