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Father James Page

Nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   13 hour(s)
Publication date: 06/01/2021

Father James Page

An Enslaved Preacher's Climb to Freedom

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696605014


This first-of-its-kind biography tells the story of Rev. James Page, who rose from slavery in the nineteenth century to become a religious and political leader among African Americans as well as an international spokesperson for the cause of racial equality.

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Product Description

James Page spent the majority of his life enslaved—during which time he experienced the death of his free father, witnessed his mother and brother being sold on the auction block, and was forcibly moved 700 miles south from Richmond, Virginia, to Tallahassee, Florida, by his enslaver, John Parkhill. Page would go on to become Parkhill's chief aide on his plantation and, unusually, a religious leader who was widely respected by enslaved men and women as well as by white clergy, educators, and politicians. Rare for enslaved people at the time, Page was literate—and left behind ten letters that focused on his philosophy as an enslaved preacher and, later, as a free minister, educator, politician, and social justice advocate.

In Father James Page, Larry Eugene Rivers presents Page as a complex, conflicted man: neither a nonthreatening, accommodationist mouthpiece for white supremacy nor a calculating schemer fomenting rebellion. Rivers emphasizes Page's agency in pursuing a religious vocation, in seeking to exhibit "manliness" in the face of chattel slavery, and in pushing back against the overwhelming power of his enslaver. Post-emancipation, Page continued to preach and to advocate for black self-determination and independence through black land ownership, political participation, and business ownership.


"Dr. Rivers has written a very brave book, because it refuses to accept stereotypes no matter their origin." ―The Tallahassee Democrat

Author Bio

Larry Eugene Rivers is a Distinguished Professor of History at Florida A&M University and the author or coauthor of eight books, including Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation and Rebels and Runaways: Slave Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Florida.