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The newly freed slaves had almost nothing—no money, no education, and no strong social institutions, including marriage which had often been prohibited, rarely supported by slaveholders. Discrimination was rampant and government was often the worst discriminator. Yet, somehow, they triumphed. They built marriages that were actually slightly more stable than those of white families. The newly free went from virtually zero literacy to at least 50% literacy in a generation. They worked incredibly hard and increased their income about one third faster than white workers. The newly free, anchored in their strong faith, were amazingly forgiving and optimistic. Economics Professor Thomas Tacker tells their inspiring story in a lively, non-technical style. Along the way Professor Tacker demolishes the myths that were told to justify slavery and racism. This is the exciting saga of the spectacularly successful, such as George Washington Carver and Madam C.J. Walker, but also of typical families, every-day champions. In the end, these newly free people overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles and emerged as heroes and heroines. They were, indeed, our other greatest generation.

Publication Title

Overcoming: The Inspiring Story of America’s Newly Freed Slaves, Our Other Greatest Generation

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