HARMONY — Belle Grove Plantation in northern Virginia had 276 enslaved people across its history, said Brian Johnson.
The story of Judah, the plantation's lead cook from 1816 to 1836, gives a face to one of those names, he said.
“These people are real,” said Johnson, a Luzerne County Community College part-time instructor of interpersonal communication. “Judah was real.”
The Novel Breads Eaters and Readers, a book club of about 15 members that meets at the Enchanted Olive in Harmony, hosted Johnson at its Feb. 3 meeting to discuss his book “Send Judah First: The Erased Life of an Enslaved Soul,” a work of historical fiction released in August 2019, that illuminates the life of Judah, an enslaved woman at Belle Grove.
This is an excerpt from a story that appears in Sunday's Butler Eagle.