In this pathbreaking work, Tiya Miles sheds light on an enslaved mother’s love, African American material culture, and intergenerational Black women’s memory work of slavery and genealogy. By focusing on a rare example of Black women’s material culture, Miles introduces readers to Rose, an enslaved Charleston, South Carolina, lowcountry mother who frantically prepared a survival kit of a dress, pecans, and a lock of hair before her daughter’s sale. Ashley, Rose’s daughter, “carried it and passed it down across the generations” while Ruth Middletown, Ashley’s granddaughter, embroidered its provenance onto the sack in the early 1920s (xiv). Drawing on the work of Marisa Fuentes, Saidiya Hartman, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Miles offers a compelling narrative of a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s unspeakable loss, and a descendant’s effort to document the “harrowing tale into the twentieth century” (4).1 She transforms Ashley’s sack into an archive of Black women’s experience in slavery...
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Book Review| November 01 2021
Review: All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, by Tiya Miles
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsakeby Tiya Miles.
2021. 416 pp.; bibliography, notes, index; clothbound, $28.00; eBook, $13.99.
The Public Historian (2021) 43 (4): 134–136.
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Hilary N. Green; Review: All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, by Tiya Miles. The Public Historian 1 November 2021; 43 (4): 134–136. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2021.43.4.134
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