We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Help Me to Find My People Audiobook

Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery

Regular Price:$20.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

After the Civil War, African Americans placed poignant “information wanted” advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members. Inspired by the power of these ads, Heather Andrea Williams uses slave narratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide listeners back to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when people were sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Williams explores these heartbreaking stories and the long, usually unsuccessful journeys toward reunification. Examining the interior lives of the enslaved and freed people as they tried to come to terms with great loss, Williams grounds their grief, fear, anger, longing, frustration, and hope in the history of American slavery and the domestic slave trade.

Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles their searches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the empathy, sympathy, indifference, and hostility expressed by whites about sundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in the post - Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in the ongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

About the author: Heather Andrea Williams is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom.

©2012 the University of North Carolina Press (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Williams examines the historical fact of family separation and renders its emotional truth. She is the rare scholar who writes history with such tenderness that her words can bring a reader to tears…[The book] has a propulsive narrative flow, and with each successive chapter the suppleness of Williams’ prose grows.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Inspired by ‘information wanted’ advertisements that African Americans placed in newspapers to find loved ones after the Civil War, Williams examines the emotional and psychological effects of separation and reunion on both free and enslaved African Americans…An important addition to African American history collections.” (Library Journal)

“Drawing on interviews with former slaves, journals, letters, and documents, including advertisements searching for information on long-lost relatives, Williams allows the enslaved and formerly enslaved to speak for themselves on loss and the physical and emotional tribulations of slavery…Williams’ source materials and her own narrative evoke the longing, fear, grief, and hope that have endured as black families continue to search genealogies to reconnect to family members lost to the cruelty of slavery.” (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (21 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.7 (20 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.6 (20 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-29-16
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-29-16 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2185
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    526
    312
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    218
    44
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Vulnerability and Grief"

    Beautifully written by Heather Andrea Williams, flawlessly narrated by Robin Miles, this audiobook should be required reading for all Americans. It is a part of our collective history, and I certainly do not remember it being presented in this way back when I was in school learning American History. Heartbreaking and utterly sad, it is the history of the African-American family during the slavery era and the attempts to reclaim long-lost family members after emancipation.

    For me, it is just impossible to imagine what it must have been like to be separated from loved ones--children, spouses, parents--often for the rest of one's life . . . to be paraded around and sold at an auction like lowly cattle . . . to be no more than property.

    But yes, we all know this, right? But how much do we really know? And how much do we want to know? And maybe it's just too painful to listen to? And it was a long time ago and we just need to let it go, right? Things are so much better today, why dredge up the past?

    No.

    Get this audiobook and listen to it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawntay 07-12-15
    Shawntay 07-12-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "THE FLAG CAME DOWN!!!!7-11-2015
    "

    STRONG AND COMPELLING, SORROW!!! A MUST READ A MUST READ READ READ READ READ READ

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ayodele higgs 03-07-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenal"

    Help Me to Find My People was a great book which surpassed my expectations. I got to make new realizations, cry, and be grateful for the sacrifices made for me. I am sure my great great great grandmother born in the shadow of slavery would smile looking on all her progeny succeeding in this country.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.