In Behind the Scenes, Elizabeth Keckley tells how she gained her freedom from slavery and of her remarkable friendship with Mary Todd Lincoln for whom she worked as a seamstress in the Lincoln White House. Of this account, Nikki Giovanni wrote:"What a joy to uncover a diamond-a precious memory of times past and present. Mrs. Keckley's memories add yet one more important piece to the Africa-America quilt of life which is here to not only keep us warm but to enlighten us."
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Behind the Scenes: or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years int he White House was first published in 1868 and is considered one of the most candid and poignant slave narratives. Author Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley writes about her teenage years, working as a slave for the Rev. Robert Burwell in Hillsborough, NC. He is thought by many historians to have been Keckley's half-brother. The Burwells had twelve children and ran an academy for girls. She writes about mistreatment and violence visited upon her by Rev. and Mrs. Burwell, and the unwelcome sexual advances and eventual rape by one of the town's white citizens. After Keckley gave birth to a son, she and her baby were sent to live with Burwel's sister.Review:
Recommended --Library Journal
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