About For One Day of Freedom

A young man strives to escape from slavery in this blistering epic from Jackson (Operation Burning Candle), a novelist and civil rights activisit known for his contributions to the Black thriller genre of the 1960s and ’70s who died in 2012. . . . Jackson’s propulsive prose conveys Jubel's urgency and his Odyssean string of obstacles. . . . The steady supply of action and psychological insights makes this a knockout.” Publishers Weekly

“Blyden Jackson’s For One Day of Freedom is a modest classic, fusing a scholar’s energy and an artist’s empathy. As he dramatizes the Southern plantation owner’s indifference to the feelings and souls of Black slaves, Jackson vividly portrays the daring and dignity of the enslaved. A page-turner that isn’t resolved until the very last sentence.” —Sidney Offit, curator emeritus, George Polk Awards in Journalism

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After months of planning, Jubel prepares his escape. In two days, he will embark on a perilous journey to Canada to secure his freedom. And with the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, there will be no safe place for him until he crosses the border. Determined to break the generational shackles—his own parents having been sold and split apart from each other—Jubel will learn the path by forging it, and then return to the Windsor Plantation for Missy, the love of his life. Missy, meanwhile, holds a terrible secret of her own.

To Robb Windsor, the youngest of the clan at twenty-two, Jubel is as much as a friend as he is a prize slave. They grew up together, bonded. Now Jubel must navigate not only the physical terrain of the swampland while being pursued by slave catcher Big Kit and his dogs but also the psychological battlefield of being hunted by his only boyhood friend.

On his run for “the Freedom,” Jubel will meet many characters—some in pursuit of their own liberation, others with far more nefarious intent. At every turn, from swampland to steamboat to the North, he will have to make split-second decisions on who he can trust, and for how long.

This posthumous release of Jackson’s third and final novel includes a foreword by Jane Clark Jackson and an afterword by Dr. Brandyn Adeo.

About Blyden B. Jackson, Jr.

Blyden Brown Jackson Jr. (1936–2012) was a civil rights activist who served as a founder of the New Haven, Connecticut, chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) before founding and becoming chairman of the East River chapter of CORE, located in Harlem. In his life he was a husband and a father, a community organizer, a builder, a marine, an emergency medical technician, a coach, and a teacher, among a plethora of other titles. His previous books are the novels Operation Burning Candle and Totem

Discussion questions

Some questions to kick off your book club, classroom, or individual discussion of Blyden Jackson's novel.


Links to Information about the author, Blyden B. Jackson, Jr.

Blyden’s Activities in N.Y. CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in the 1960’s:

Links to Resources on Blyden’s Writing


Historical Resources for For One Day of Freedom

The following links provide background information on the historical timing of the novel.


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