No study of American history can be considered complete without dealing with the history and legacy of slavery in American life. From the earliest Colonial period up to the present day, slavery and its repercussions have affected almost every aspect of our nation’s story. One unique account of slavery’s history and legacy is provided by Edward Ball in his book Slaves in the Family (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014). Ball is a descendent of Elias Ball, who emigrated from Devon, England to Charleston, South Carolina in 1698. The Ball family owned nearly 4,000 human beings during their 167 years as a slave dynasty. More than a hundred years later, Edward Ball would move back to an ancestral home in Charleston and begin an ambitious quest, charting not only his own genealogy but also that of the family’s slaves, tracing their ancestry back to the first African captives. The book details Ball’s subsequent travels throughout the United States to meet their descendants, some of whom are his distant cousins. We will supplement our reading with a series of Great Courses lectures dealing with the topic of slavery in America. Great Courses Plus subscription required. Subscription gives you access to all Great Courses material, not just the material needed for this course. 14 day free trial available, then $20/month (or $15/month if on a quarterly plan). Subscription can be cancelled at any time. No class on 11/26/20.