The First Prison Memoir of Black Man Discovered

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Historians believe they've authenticated the earliest recovered memoir written in prison by a black American. It dates to 1858 — before the Civil War and emancipation.  The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison, has been a mystery since it was discovered by a rare books dealer in upstate New York. Now it's authenticated under the name of Bob Reed, believed to have been born a free man who learned to read and write in reform school. Brenda Stevenson is a history professor at UCLA, author of The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots, discusses its historical significance.

Credits

Guest:
Brenda Stevenson - University of California, Los Angeles / Stanford University - @uclahist

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg, Christian Bordal, Kareem Maddox