The United States faced an unprecedented refugee crisis a century and a half ago: 4 million slaves were emancipated, primarily from plantations where they’d been held captive. Most possessed no more than the clothes on their backs and were now suddenly homeless and jobless.
In the chaos following the bloody Civil War, where would they go? How would they reunite with loved ones who may have been sold to a distant owner and never heard from again? How would people who’d been abused—sometimes savagely—and cheated out of compensation for their labors, and even legally prohibited from learning to read and write, now make the transition to a free life?