On the face of it, the master class called the tunes and slaves danced the beat. Blacks who were taken into New England's bondage were clearly engulfed in a pervasive, narrow-minded Euro-American society that had no interest in fostering Afro-American autonomy. The New England experience was often cruel, and the numbers alone suggest it was among the most unequal of black/white cultural contacts in the New World. Nonetheless, despite the strictures of bondage, the black Yankees of eighteenth-century New England created a sustaining folk culture of their own.
"The most comprehensive study yet of American immigrants and their descendants in eighteenth-century New England."—New England Quarterly
"Piersen does a masterful job with his material. He has drawn from a mosaic of traditional historical documentation, interdisciplinary evidence, and non-traditional folk sources in his portrayal of black culture. His chapters are succinct and clearly organized, his writing fluid and even-handed. . . A valuable and much-needed addition to early American history."—Journal of Social History
"We have much to learn about race and class in eighteenth-century New England, and William D. Piersen has made a major contribution."—Journal of American History
"A first-rate study filled with fresh ideas and interpretations. . . . Piersen has made a valuable contribution to our knowledge of early Afro-American cultural development. Scholars, students, and general readers are in his debt for a job well done."—Journal of Southern History