Edited by Drs. Erica Ball, Tatiana Seijas, and Terri L. Snyder, As if She Were Free (Cambridge University Press, 2020) is a collective biography of African and African-descended women across the Americas.
This collection of twenty-four beautifully crafted chapters, spans across centuries and geographies, giving us a varied and textured reading of women’s lives and experiences. More importantly than that, and herein lies the revolutionary character of this book, As If She Were Free changes our ways of understanding and conceptualizing freedom and emancipation, ultimately transforming how we narrate the past of our societies and understand our present.
As the editors of the book tell us in this interview, this is a feminist project at its core, a useful history for today because African and African-descended women in the Americas, both in the past and present, have crafted their own understandings of freedom, advocated for new ways of defining and living freely, and achieved revolutionary changes in our societies. Enjoy this wonderful conversation!
PS. By the end of the interview, you may notice Tatiana Seijas does not answer some questions. The recording of this episode occurred during the Texas Winter storms, and she had to rush home before sunset. Her commitment to this interview, even under such circumstances, was remarkable even if not surprising for those of us who know her and her love for history.
Lisette Varón-Carvajal is a PhD Candidate at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. You can tweet her and suggest books at @LisetteVaron