In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named Rose gave a sack filled with a few precious items to her daughter, Ashley, as a token of love and to try to ensure Ashley’s survival as well. Soon after, the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold. Decades later, Ashley’s granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the bag in spare yet haunting language—including Rose’s wish that “It be filled with my Love always.” In the illuminating and deeply moving new book, All That She Carried, inspired by Rose’s gift to Ashley, historian Tiya Miles carefully unearths these women’s faint presence in archival records and draws on objects and art, to follow the paths of their lives—and the lives of so many women like them—in a singular and revelatory history of the experience of slavery, and the uncertain freedom afterward, in the United States.
TIYA MILES is professor of history and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award and the Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her book The Dawn of Detroit received the Merle Curti Award in Social History, the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations, the James Bradford Best Biography Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction, an American Book Award, and a Frederick Douglass Book Prize. Additionally, Miles is the author of Ties That Bind; The House on Diamond Hill; The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts; and Tales from the Haunted South, a published lecture series
This program will be held via Zoom and registration is required. The Zoom details to access the lecture will be sent a few days in advance to all attendees.
Sponsored by The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area