Stephanie M. H. Camp's Closer To Freedom

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In Closer to Freedom, Stephanie M.H. Camp explores the enslavement of Africans in early America, especially in the South where cotton and tobacco plantations would be the primary economic resource and the resistance of the slaves to the notion of being imprisoned with a focus on the resistance of women. Stephanie M.H. Camp’s Closer to Freedom examines the numerous ways that enslaved women resisted slavery in nineteenth-century America, including truancy, illicit parties, and abolitionism. Camp does not examine every form of slave resistance but instead focuses specifically on the role of women in challenging the realm of slavery. The first chapter of the book provides an overview of slavery during the colonial period before exploring how slavery was enacted by controlling the movement of slaves in place and time. Next, Camp focuses on truancy as a form of resistance. …show more content…
She uses legal documents, letters, diaries, slave narratives, and plantation records in order to analyze the role of women in resistance to American slavery. Through the use of these documents, Camp is able to recount the experiences of how enslaved people, women, in particular, attempted to challenge the power of their masters. In the introduction, Camp admitted that it was unlikely new sources regarding slavery, especially slave resistance, would come to light. Therefore, it is imperative that historians find “innovative ways to read our existing ones.” (2) Often the sources that are available for the time periods involving slavery lack information about slave resistance, also. This makes books such as Closer to Freedom very difficult to write. However, Camp manages to successfully use the resources available to provide an easy to read investigation into the role of women in resistance to slavery and an excellent look into how the resistance changed over