All That She Carried

by Tiya Miles is the account of one Black family’s precious keepsake and the lost history that it represents. In the 1850s in South Carolina, a young enslaved woman named Rose gave her daughter, Ashley, a cotton bag packed with a few items and “my Love always.” When Ashley was forced from her mother and sold, at the age of 9, she took the bag with her and eventually passed it to her granddaughter, Ruth, who later embroidered the cloth with its history. Miles weaves together a moving story of these women’s lives, lives whose traces only appear faintly in the historical record but whose pain and survival is writ large in the story of the United States. This is an essential read. (Non-Fiction)