02 March 2015

The Book of Negroes

BET broadcast in February (16th-18th) The Book of Negroes.  This show raised incredible interest in the basis for this show, the actual Inspection Roll of Negroes, commonly referred to as the Book of Negroes.  The BET website has a number of video clips that can be accessed.

If you live in Canada, the show was broadcast on CBC and it appears that you can access the program episodes there (Sorry and those living in the US and elsewhere cannot access these!)

This Boston Glob article, ‘Book of Negroes’ reveals little-known chapter in history will fill you in a bit more on the mini-series.

The NARA website has a blog post about the document that forms the basis of the program.

The Book of Negroes is actually a set of two ledgers that lists the names, ages, and descriptive information of about 3,000 enslaved African Americans, indentured servants, and freedmen that were evacuated from the United States along with British soldiers at the conclusion of the American Revolution. Over the extent of about 200 pages, this record captures what is now invaluable genealogical information such as where a person was held in slavery, their owner’s name, and when and how the person obtained freedom.

If you caught it on BET or CBC, please let us know your reaction and thoughts!

Image source information:
National Archives Identifier: 5890797
HMS Entry Number(s): UD 2
You can access via this link, http://research.archives.gov/description/5890797

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