Ernest J. Gaines’ 1971 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a standalone historical novel.
The premise: an unnamed teacher interviews an ancient black woman, believing that she will provide a unique historical perspective.
Jane is a child slave still known as “Ticey” when the first hint of change to come arrives in the form of Union troops chasing slaver soldiers. A Union officer named Brown takes a passing interest in Jane. He renames her Jane and then leaves. Although she will never see him again, the encounter transforms her life.
A couple of years later, the slaver state falls. The white slave-owning class is forced to submit to the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves like Jane are now free. Life will no doubt be wonderful.