An important book of epic scope on America's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for change The civil war brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies as romantic a place in the nation's imagination as the Lewis and Clark expedition. The true story of the Underground Railroad is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country's westward expansion arose a fierce clash of values that was nothing less than a war for the country's soul. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only challenged prevailing mores but also subverted federal law. Bound for Canaan tells the stories of men and women like David Ruggles, who invented the black underground in New York City; bold Quakers like Isaac Hopper and Levi Coffin, who risked their lives to build the Underground Railroad; and the inimitable Harriet Tubman. Interweaving thrilling personal stories with the politics of slavery and abolition, Bound for Canaan shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to this country's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change.
Book two of the Standing on the Promises trilogy. After this groundbreaking, deeply moving trilogy about black LDS pioneers was first published, modern-day descendants came forward with further information, photographs, and more detailed history. In this new edition, the authors have corrected some errors and dramatized the experience of additional black pioneers.
Drawing on a wide range of major literary voices, including Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison, as well as lesser-known writers such as William Attaway (Blood on the Forge) and Dorothy West (The Living Is Easy), Rodgers conducts a kind of literary archaeology of the Great Migration. He mines the writers' biographical connections to migration and teases apart the ways in which individual novels relate to one another, to the historical situation of black America, and to African-American literature as a whole. In reading migration novels in relation to African-American literary texts such as slave narratives, folk tales, and urban fiction, Rodgers affirms the southern folk roots of African-American culture and argues for a need to stem the erosion of southern memory.