Nat Turner's Bible

As the Smithsonian opens the doors to The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.—the Bible is front and center!

Nat Turner made history as leader of a violent slave rebellion in 1831 on a Virginia plantation, leaving many dead in its wake.He was on the run two months before being caught and executed. . .the insurrection ending the emancipation movement in Virginia, and resulting in harsher laws enacted against slaves.

Known as a preacher and reader of the Bible—Nat Turner’s personal biography, for many, emerges as both villain and hero. As one Smithsonian curator said: Nat Turner’s Bible displayed with Harriet Tubman’s hymnal—is a way of “suggesting that the Bible and faith...was a way of activating one’s desire to do more than what was ever expected of them to do.”


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