The suggested questions for The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
1. Relationships between captors and captives, slaves and masters were complex—despite slave codes and laws. Discuss examples from the book (for example, Easter and Lavinia, Nat Turner and his father, Nathaniel Francis and Charlotte). Share examples from your own family history.
2. Mosaic Law lays down laws that ameliorate slavery, for example: Exodus 21:20, Exodus 21:26, Deuteronomy 5:14–15, Deuteronomy 21:10–14, Deuteronomy 23:15–16, Deuteronomy 24:14–15, 1 Timothy 1:9–11. Was slavery in America based on biblical law? Why or why not?
3. Many slaves suffered but did not fight back. What in Nat Turner’s background might have predisposed him to take up arms?
4. In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses,
names are important, particularly slave names. What is the significance of a slave having one or two names? The author refers to Easter as “auntie Easter” rather than “Auntie Easter” and to Charlotte as “Wicked Charlotte” rather than “wicked Charlotte.” What do you think the author is attempting to convey through use of this l