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This is the story of Iola Leroy, a free-born, mixed-race woman who passed as white. Her true racial identity eventually discovered, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Later freed by the Union Army, she journeyed to find others of her family who had been disunited from each other and strewn across the south by the forces of slavery. In the process she also struggled to improve the economic and social station of African Americans. Iola Leroy is a story about race and gender roles during the antebellum and post-Civil War eras, "passing" and the associated socio-political consequences.