Princess Series Highlights Lives Of Slave Women

Princess Series Highlights Lives Of Slave Women

Princess SeriesFourteen Generations Of Women Guard And Preserve Ancient Culture

By Barbara Frank

Three novels about the women of one slave family begin with a kidnapping in Africa in the early 18th century. The books offer a window into slave religion in three different time periods, and bear witness to the power of blood ties to the past.

Fourteen generations of women guard and preserve an ancient cultural heritage through a quarter of a millennium and across an ocean separating two widely different worlds. The stories trace their loss and rediscovery of one another, their resolution, courage and near uncanny perseverance.

In Anna of Corotoman, a young girl is transported to the new world on a slave ship, bringing along with her an animist religion and a matrilineal legacy she manages not only to preserve, but to send forward into the future.

Anna’s descendant, in Aggy of Zion, lives in the pre-Civil War Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the evangelical revivalist era of the Second Great Awakening and at a time when slaves are being sold south in increasing numbers. An encounter with the ghost of a master murdered by his slaves foreshadows her own trial of self-sacrifice and her loss of those she loves.

In Ferolene of Tincup, Anna’s twentieth century descendant, daughter of a hard-working laundress whose grandmother was born in slavery, discovers a lost link to a past she had never dreamed existed. Relationships, including one with a Vodun priest, and long forgotten lore resurface to guide Ferolene in the quest she undertakes as part of a story set in rural Georgia during the Civil Rights era in the American south.

Aggy of Zion’s 1836 bill of sale, found in a farmhouse attic, enabled the completion of the three books of the Princess series. The career of the author, Barbara Frank, has included university teaching, work for the Africa Bureau of UNDP, and for two global financial institutions. She lives on a farm in Virginia.

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