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From Slave to Statesman
BK-HB-LSU 62651

In the 1980s, Willis McGlascoe Carter’s handwritten memoir turned up unexpectedly in the hands of an antiques dealer. It told a fascinating story of a man born into slavery in Virginia who, at the onset of freedom, gained an education, became a teacher, started a family, and edited a newspaper. Robert Heinrich and Deborah Harding’s From Slave to Statesman tells the extraordinary story of Willis M. Carter’s life. 
Carter was born a slave in 1852. Upon gaining freedom after the Civil War, Carter, like many former slaves, traveled in search of employment and education. He journeyed to Washington, DC, where he attended night school before entering and graduating from Wayland Seminary. In Staunton, VA, he became a teacher and principal in the city’s African American schools, the editor of the Staunton Tribune, a leader in community and state civil rights organizations, and an activist in the Republican Party. Carter served as an alternate delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention, and helped lead the battle against Virginia’s new state constitution, which white supremacists sought to use to disenfranchise blacks. Carter traveled to Richmond to address delegates at the constitutional convention, serving as chairman of a committee that advocated voting rights and equal public education for African Americans. Carter did not live to see Virginia adopt its new Jim Crow constitution, but he died knowing that he had done all in his power to stop it. From Slave to Statesman resurrects Carter’s all-but-forgotten story, adding to our understanding of the journey that he and men like him took out of slavery into a world of incredible promise and powerful disappointment.

Price $35.00
Current stock: 2

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