As Black History Month begins, read a letter from a former slave.

February 1, 2013

Letter from a formerly enslaved person to his old master
In August, 1865, newspapers printed a letter sent from an emancipated slave, by then gainfully employed in Ohio, replying to his cruel former owner, a colonel in Tennessee who wanted him and his wife to come back and work on the farm where they had been held in slavery. Be sure to read the full letter and absorb the brilliant reasoning of the former slave, Jourdon Anderson. The introduction with this letter from the “Letters of Note” website contains a link to a photo of the original article as it was printed in the New York Daily Tribune, August 22, 1865.  Also included with the introduction is a link to updated information about Jourdon Anderson’s descendents. This letter is a fitting introduction to Black History month, celebrated every February in the United States and Canada.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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