Book Cover Image of The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia by David J. Mason

The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes: Enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia
by David J. Mason

    Publication Date: Sep 30, 2022
    List Price: $19.99
    Format: Paperback, 232 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Young Adult
    ISBN13: 9780999133118
    Imprint: HMG ePublishing
    Publisher: HMG ePublishing
    Parent Company: HMG ePublishing, LLC

    Paperback Description:

    The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes is a documentary novel based on a true story and actual events and was drawn from a variety of historic sources, including published government materials and family chronicles. A trilogy, the story profiles Private Parson Sykes’ evolution from enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia, followed by his enlistment into the Union Army, and culminating with his emancipation and return to the county.

    The initial part subtitled, Enslavement in Southampton County Virginia, of the trilogy, takes place in 1864 near the end of the American Civil War on the slave-holding Jacob Williams’ middle class family farm in Southampton County Virginia. During the 1831 Southampton Insurrection, the farm came under attack by Nat Turner and his insurgents, which haunts Jacob.

    Before the Civil War started, Parson began discussing human rights and the political implications of the abolition of slavery with his two brothers. In December 1864, he planned to liberate himself by running away from Jacob Williams’ farm and following an eastward path along the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad to reach Norfolk, Virginia, which was a Union occupied city. Upon reaching Norfolk and in the hands of Union troops, Parson had liberated himself from bondage.

    The Self-Liberation of Parson Sykes also functions to draw attention to the important role Black soldiers and their White officers played during the Civil War as members of United States Colored Troops (USCT). Though less heralded, the USCT regiments were the precursors to Black army units famously nicknamed as the Buffalo Soldiers., Smoked Yankees, the Harlem Hell Fighters, Tuskegee Airmen, and the Red Ball Express.