Jesse J. Holland's The Invisibles is the first book to tell the story of the executive mansion's most unexpected residents, the African American slaves who lived with the U.S. presidents who owned them. Interest in African Americans and the White House are at an all-time high due to the historic presidency of Barack Obama and the soon-to-be-opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History.
The Invisibles chronicles the African American presence inside the White House from its beginnings in 1782 until 1862, when president Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that granted slaves their freedom. During these years, slaves were the only African Americans to whom the most powerful men in the United States were exposed on a daily, and familiar, basis. By hearing about these often-intimate relationships, listeners will better understand some of the views that various presidents held about class and race in American society, and how these slaves contributed not only to the life and comforts of the presidents they served but to America as a whole.
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"Narrator J.D. Jackson's deep, resonant voice melds seamlessly with this book. When Americans think about slavery, most envision field hands picking cotton under a broiling Southern sun. This audiobook brings home the fact that the African-Americans seen on a daily basis by the first 12 presidents of our nation were White House slaves. Using documents and historical records, the author, a reporter, recounts a fascinating and troubling history. Jackson varies his voice to capture individual characters and their stories. At times, if the action warrants, he shifts to a more breathless pace or makes his tone more urgent. The result is good, solid history that should be widely heard. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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