All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, A Black Family Keepsake

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This is a treasure  – a nontraditional history of black women’s lives inspired by a cotton sack packed by Rose, an enslaved woman in 1850’s South Carolina, for her nine-year-old daughter, Ashley. The sack, filled with a tattered dress, 3 handfuls of pecans, and a braid of Rose’s hair, was handed down through three generations of Black women, an enduring testament of survival, resilience and love. How do you write the history of lives that have been erased from conventional historical archives? In this extraordinary book, Miles brilliantly shows us how to fill in gaps and “embrace the space between the stitches” to discover the remarkable story of generations of black women “who dared to insist on love.” 

Review Date: 
Monday, January 31, 2022
African American Women, Black History