Survivors of Slavery

Modern-Day Slave Narratives

Laura T. Murphy

Columbia University Press

Survivors of Slavery

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Pub Date: March 2014

ISBN: 9780231164238

344 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $33.00£28.00

Pub Date: March 2014

ISBN: 9780231164221

344 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.00

Pub Date: March 2014

ISBN: 9780231535755

344 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $32.99£28.00

Survivors of Slavery

Modern-Day Slave Narratives

Laura T. Murphy

Columbia University Press

Slavery is not a crime confined to the far reaches of history. It is an injustice that continues to entrap twenty-seven million people across the globe. Laura Murphy offers close to forty survivor narratives from Cambodia, Ghana, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States, detailing the horrors of a system that forces people to work without pay and against their will, under the threat of violence, with little or no means of escape. Representing a variety of circumstances in diverse contexts, these survivors are the Frederick Douglasses, Sojourner Truths, and Olaudah Equianos of our time, testifying to the widespread existence of a human rights tragedy and the urgent need to address it.

Through storytelling and firsthand testimony, this anthology shapes a twenty-first-century narrative that many believe died with the end of slavery in the Americas. Organized around such issues as the need for work, the punishment of defiance, and the move toward activism, the collection isolates the causes, mechanisms, and responses to slavery that allow the phenomenon to endure. Enhancing scholarship in women's studies, sociology, criminology, law, social work, and literary studies, the text establishes a common trajectory of vulnerability, enslavement, captivity, escape, and recovery, creating an invaluable resource for activists, scholars, legislators, and service providers.

Murphy has allowed the victims of contemporary bondage to speak for themselves. These often heart-wrenching accounts do more than reveal the tragic stories of contemporary abuse and suffering; they often reveal patterns of behavior and resistance that can inform our understanding of historic slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This collection clearly establishes the international dimensions and persistence of slavery.

Paul E. Lovejoy, Director, The Harriet Tubman Institute

The goal of the book is to strengthen current efforts to end contemporary slavery by reminding its readers of the humanity of the enslaved, thereby provoking both empathy with their situation and action to assist in their emancipation. It offers a manual for the twenty-first century abolitionist.

P.D. Richardson, University of Hull

Survivors of Slavery invites the reader not only to consider the actual words on the page, but also to question context, voice, and what is not being said.

Sandra Morgan, Director, Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University

As awareness of modern slavery explodes, the least heard but most important voices we need to hear belong to slavery survivors. It is a simple fact that if you have always lived in freedom the lived truth of slavery is unimaginable. For the slaves and ex-slaves this creates a deep gap, a sense that they will never be understood. Laura T. Murphy's superlative Survivors of Slavery bridges that gap and opens the door to understanding and healing. There are plenty of books to read if you want to understand modern slavery in your head, but if you want to understand the truth of slavery in your heart, read this book.

Kevin Bales, cofounder of Free the Slaves

An "open condemnation" of modern slavery that builds powerfully by testimony.

Kirkus

... this collection gives voice to the desire of the enslaved to express their humanity.

Booklist

Graduate and undergraduate students can benefit from inclusion of this book as a text through which they can understand slavery in the voices of people who have experienced it… a critical book… few readers will be unchanged.

PsycCRITIQUES

Murphy's book provides an essential collection of narratives that everyone involved in the prevention of trafficking should read.

Journal of Human Trafficking

A welcome addition to our understanding of trafficking.

Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Review
Foreword by Kevin Bales and Minh Dang
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Allure of Work
2. Slaves in the Family
3. Case Study: Interviews from a Brothel
4. Painful Defiance and Contested Freedom
5. Community Response and Resistance
6. Case Study: Mining Unity
7. The Voice and the Silence of Slavery
8. Becoming an Activist
9. Case Study: Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking, Survivor Advisory Caucus
Epilogue: Twenty-First-Century Abolitionists—What You Can Do to End Slavery
Appendix A: Antislavery Organizations
Appendix B: Signs of Enslavement
Appendix C: Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing
Notes
Index

Read "The Allure of Work," the first chapter from Survivors of Slavery:

About the Author

Laura T. Murphy is assistant professor of English, director of the Modern Slavery Research Project at Loyola University New Orleans, and director of the Survivors of Slavery speakers network. She is the author of Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature