Jesse J. Holland's The Invisibles is the first book to tell the story of the executive mansion's most unexpected residents: the African American slaves who lived with the US presidents who owned them.
Interest in African Americans and the White House are at an all-time high due to the historic presidency of Barack Obama and the soon-to-be-opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History. The Invisibles chronicles the African American presence inside the White House from its beginnings in 1782 until 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted slaves their freedom. During these years, slaves were the only African Americans to whom the most powerful men in the United States were exposed on a daily and familiar basis. By hearing about these often-intimate relationships, listeners will better understand some of the views that various presidents held about class and race in American society and how these slaves contributed not only to the lives and comforts of the presidents they served but to America as a whole.
"A quick, informative history of a lamentable chapter in America's past." (Kirkus)
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- corey cumberlander