About the Book
Dr. Arthur Vaughn shares the story of his family’s journey from enslavement all the way through the Great Migration—the period when 6 million formerly-enslaved people journeyed North from the Antebellum-era South. He shares stories his grandmother Rosa Mae Woodall told him over the course of her life though conversation and letters. Using historical records and detailed research, he offers a compelling tale of his maternal family through the perspective of the women who lived it.The story begins with his earliest known ancestor, Katy Dawkins, who was born in 1802 in Virginia and later sold to a southern enslaver in South Carolina. Next, Grandma Rosa Mae Woodall shows us what life was like for a woman who looked after her siblings when her mother passed, lived through the Great Depression, and ran her own business in the 1950’s. In great historical detail, Vaughn uncovers the harsh realities women experienced during plantation life as well as the realities of Jim Crow and the segregated North after the Civil War. Dr. Vaughn does a marvelous job accurately portraying the thoughts and emotions felt throughout this over 100-year family journey that set the foundation for generations to come. Through Her Eyes takes the historical context we skimmed over in school and hones in on the internal struggles and personal achievements of real people who lived through slavery and antebellum times. Vaughn’s passion and attention to detail make this a must read for anyone interested in visiting a foundational time in our history.
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