Life in Black and White provides a panoramic portrait of family and community life in the American South--weaving the fascinating personal stories of planters and slaves, of free blacks and poor-to-middling whites, into a powerful portrait of southern society from the mid-eighteenth century to the Civil War. Loudoun County, Virginia and the surrounding vicinity are the focus. Here the region's most illustrious families helped forge southern traditions and attitudes that became characteristic of the entire region while mingling with yeoman farmers of German, Scotch-Irish, and Irish descent, and free black families who lived alongside abolitionist Quakers and thousands of slaves. Stevenson brilliantly recounts their stories as she builds the complex picture of their intertwined lives, revealing how their combined histories guaranteed Loudon's role in important state, regional, and national events and controversies.

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