Slavery

Henry ‘Box’ Brown on CBS

Happy Henry Day! This week marks the 166th anniversary of Henry Brown's amazing escape from slavery. On March 23, 1849, Henry Brown was sealed inside a wooden box, 3 feet by 2 feet by 2-1/2...

Sojourner Truth & Talking to Ashes

Sojourner Truth was once told that if she dared to preach, the building where she spoke would be burned. The famous abolitionist responded, "Then I will speak to the ashes." You gotta love it. This past...

No Small Feat–A Daring Civil War Escape

In the very early hours of May 13, 1862, a slave named Robert Smalls decided to make his move. Smalls had worked his way up to becoming a wheelman--a pilot--and the Confederates used him to...

Finding a More Complicated Lincoln

Edna Greene Medford became a historian at a time when the legacy of Abraham Lincoln had lost some of its luster in the African American community. So she said she never had any plans to...

The Myth of Black Confederates

My two worlds converged recently. In my world as a writer for the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I recently did a story about the "Myth of Black Confederates"--a subject that...

Disappearing Man Optioned for Film!

I am thrilled to announce that a New York film and television company has purchased the screenplay of The Disappearing Man, with the goal of bringing Henry "Box" Brown's story to the screen. Many people...

What Was the Real Lincoln League?

Timothy Webster, the most famous spy during the first year of the Civil War, first encountered the Lincoln League when he was taken to a secluded hideout in the woods. He was taken there...

‘The Lincoln League’ Available as E-Book!

You can now purchase my new novel, The Lincoln League, in e-book formats--Kindle, iBook, and Nook. The Lincoln League is inspired by the true story of John Scobell, one of the first African American spies for...

History By the Slice Heroines

Jennifer Goran, the Champaign actress who portrays Ellen Craft, the hero of my novel, The Vanishing Woman, was recently featured by the Champaign newspaper, The News Gazette. Jennifer mentions her new venture, portraying "History...

Where Book Covers Come From–Part 1

When I did a presentation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati last fall, one of the people at the museum said jokingly, "The women here were wondering if the man on...