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The Tragic Life of Margaret Garner (2020)

This episode may be difficult for some listeners to hear – history is often hard and tragic, but it’s still important to tell it. Mariam discusses the life of Margaret Garner, the real life Kentucky Woman who inspired Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Margaret, at age 22, and her family attempted to escape from slavery, only to be caught and returned under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Her harrowing decision to kill her youngest daughter rather than return her to slavery had her brought up on murder charges in Ohio. This led to a cat-and-mouse political game between her owner and Governor Chase of Ohio. Margaret Garner died in 1854, at the age of 24, from Scarlet Fever. 


Mariam references Modern Medea: A Family Story of Slavery and Child-murder from the Old South by Steven Weisenburger, and you can check it out here

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Podcast Host and Producer

About The Hosts

Tales from the Kentucky Room is hosted by Mariam Addarrat and produced by Erin West.

Mariam is the Manager of Collection Services. She has worked at the Lexington Public Library since 2013, where she started as a Librarian at the Central Library. Currently, she’s enjoying listening to podcasts on history, cooking, parenting, and gardening.

Erin is the Virtual Services Librarian. She's worked for Lexington Public Library since 2003 and began her work with audio editing in 2012 while working at the Northside Branch. Erin enjoys listening to history, true crime and tv show recap podcasts.

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