A study of the slavery controversy in the Commonwealth is the subject of a book written by retired Eastern Kentucky University professor Dr. Marshall Myers.
Myers, professor emeritus of English, recently published “Enslavement in Kentucky,” a deep dive into the disparate beliefs of the slavery issue.
“The premise of the book is to study pro-slavery advocates and anti-slavery advocates as they each try different positions in real-life situations involving real people,” Myers said.
It took two years for Myers to collate the articles that informed the book, providing interesting and rarely-discussed arguments on both sides of the issue.
“For example, few of us would cite the state song, ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’ as an anti-slavery cry to being ‘sold down South.’”
The author of six books and more than 250 articles, poems, short stories and scholarly pieces, Myers said his latest book is an attempt to increase knowledge on both sides of this emotional issue.
“I wrote this book because I see the effects of a disregard for the races that populate this state,” Myers said. “Such attitudes hold us back. Kentucky is a good place to live without the effect of a lack of respect for the races.”
Myers taught at EKU for 17 years, retiring in 2012. He is a graduate of Meade County High School, earned his Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of Louisville and completed additional Ph.D. work in American literature at Kansas State University. He earned his master’s degree from EKU and his bachelor’s from Kentucky Wesleyan.
Additional books by Myers include “Letters from Lincoln,” “Great Civil War Stories of Kentucky, “Neither Blue Nor Gray” and “Only in Old Kentucky.”
The Civil War has long been an interest for Myers. He called the war a crucial test for determining the direction of the country.
“Kentucky is unique in that its residents fought on both sides. I like to explore the issues on either side,” Myers said.
Myers currently serves as president of the Madison County Civil War Roundtable and served on the Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. He also is a member of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Madison County Historical Society.
"Enslavement in Kentucky" can be found at local booksellers as well as online.