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Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom

On this edition of Your Call, Ilyon Woo discusses her Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, "Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom," which tells the remarkable story of Ellen and William Craft, a young couple who escaped enslavement in Macon, Georgia in 1848.

Their daring bid for freedom involved an ingenious disguise: the light-skinned Ellen dressed as a disabled white Southern gentleman, subverting expectations of both race and gender. With William posing as Ellen's slave, they traveled North by rail, coach, and steamship, where they fought for freedom and abolition for all.

Guest:

Ilyon Woo, award-winning author of "Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom," and "The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother’s Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times"

Resources:

The Washington Post: Two daring slave escapes, two descendant families and a DNA mystery

Documenting the American South: "Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom" by William and Ellen Craft

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.