In Unburdened by Conscience, Anthony W. Neal forcefully argues that influential historians have been unable to offer a complete account of ante-bellum-era American slavery because of their preoccupation with humanizing the slaveholders. He charges them with concealing the full horrors of slavery in order to present the slaveholders in a more positive light. By skillfully weaving together candid first-hand accounts of courageous ex-slaves, Neal then permits readers to see slavery in the United States from their point of view. Former slaves talk openly about the break-up of their marital unions and families and about matters rarely examined in most American slavery history books. Those issues include the slaveholders' legally-sanctioned acts of violence, their practice of slave-breeding, and their rape of black women. Through this work, Neal gives a voice to black people who endured American slavery, and presents a sobering record not found in most books on the topic.
Anthony W. Neal, a native of Boston, holds an A.B. with honors in history from Brown University and a J.D. from University of Texas School of Law. He has lectured on the topic of civil rights and has been a panelist for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, advising lawyers, employers, and employees on state and federal anti-discrimination laws. A community leader, artist, historian, and an attorney of over twenty-two years, Unburdened by Conscience is his first book.