Rita Roberts

Author of I Can't Wait to Call You My Wife

Author Talks

Thursday, Oct 27 @ 7pm

Bundle Tickets

–Not Yet Members: $35 (includes general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Members: $30 (includes discounted general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Insiders: $25 (includes free general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)

General Admission Tickets (book not included)

–Not Yet Members: $10
–Members: $5
–Insiders: Free

Woodruff Auditorium is located inside McElreath Hall. Doors and cash bar will open at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.


This book honors the voices of African Americans of the Civil War era through their letters, inviting readers to engage personally with the Black historical experience.

Amidst bloody battles and political maneuvering, thousands of African Americans spent the Civil War trying to hold their families together. This moving book illuminates that struggle through the letters they exchanged. Despite harsh laws against literacy and brutal practices that broke apart Black families, people found ways to write to each other against all odds. In these pages, readers will meet parents who are losing hope of ever seeing their children again and a husband who walks fifteen miles to visit his wife, enslaved on a different plantation.

The collection also includes tender courtship letters exchanged between Lewis Henry Douglass and Helen Amelia Loguen, both children of noted abolitionists, and letters sent home by the young women who traveled south to teach literacy to escaped slaves. Roberts' expert curation allows readers to see the wider historical context. The transcriptions are accompanied by reproductions of selected original letters and photographs of the letter writers.

About the Author

Rita Roberts is a writer and historian. She is currently retiring from her Professorship of History and Africana Studies at Scripps College, where she holds the Nathan Wright Stephenson Chair in History and Biography.

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