In Black America Podcast: Freeman with Leonard Pitts, Jr.
On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Leonard Pitts, Jr. syndicated columnist and author of Freeman. In his new novel, Pitts takes us to the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Freeman tells three stories of courage, hardship, and faith that slowly coalesce around the town of Buford, Mississippi.
Upon learning of Lee’s surrender, Sam Freeman – a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army–decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the overwhelming urge to seek out his wife, the mother of his dead son, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all “belonged.”
At the same time, his wife, Tilda is forced to march west at gunpoint by her embittered former master in search of lands outside of Union control. Also making the dangerous trek south is Boston native Prudence Kent, a young white widow who travels to Mississippi to set up a school for the former slaves, facing the mistrust and hostility of the local white population.