Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-century America

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, 1998 - History - 253 pages
1 Review

"More than simply a window into the world of younger slaves, Stolen Childhood offers an informed and moving narrative that assists us in understanding the people and the system that shaped many of the social patterns in American life." -- Quarterly Black Review Booktalk

"This powerful book should be read by everyone interested in understanding American character and culture at its most basic level. It is a significant contribution to the growing body of international works on the history of childhood." -- Paedagogica Historica

"... evocative new study about children in slavery.... movingly written, carefully documented... King's provocative thesis concerning the deliberate and long-lasting race- and caste-linked theft of childhood in the antebellum United States should give us pause and encourage us to think more deeply about the heritage of abuse and deprivation and its effects through many generations." -- Adele Logan Alexander, Washington Post Book World

"... the slaves' voices emerge strongly and often poignantly... " -- New York Times Book Review

"With moral authority and appreciation for the telling anecdote, Wilma King takes up the neglected story of black slave children in the American South."  -- Mary Warner Marien, The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a remarkably well researched volume." -- Journal of American History

"King's deeply researched, well-written, passionate study places children and young adults at center stage in the North American slave experience." -- Choice

"... King provides a jarring snapshot of children living in bondage. This compellingly written work is a testament to the strength and resilience of the children and their parents, who taught them necessary survival skills, self-respect, and love, despite nightmarish existences." -- Booklist

"... King has here remapped old and familiar terrain to lay out promising directions for fresh inquiry. Highly recommended... " -- Library Journal

Wilma King sheds light on a tragic aspect of slavery in the United States -- the wretched lives of the millions of children enslaved in the nineteenth-century South. King follows the slave child's experience through work, play, education, socialization, resistance to slavery, and the transition to freedom.


What people are saying - Write a review

STOLEN CHILDHOOD: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

It is a maxim of social theory that slavery wreaked its greatest destruction on the black family. Long ignored in those theories is the place of children as such; how they meted out their lives ... Read full review


You know I am one man that do love my children
Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Wilma King is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University and the author of two forthcoming books, "Africa's Progeny-America's Slaves: Children and Youth in Bondage in the Nineteenth-Century South" and "From Uncle Tom's Cabin to the Onset of the Civil War (1851-1861)".

Linda Reed is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston, where she is also director of the African-American Studies Program. She is currently working on a biography of Fa

Bibliographic information