For too many years scholars of African American history focused on the harm done by slaveholders and by the institution of slavery, rather than on what Africans in the United States were able to accomplish despite the effects of that institution. In Myne Owne Ground, T. H. Breen and Stephen Innes contribute significantly to a recent, welcome shift from a white-centered to a blackcentered inquiry into the role of African Americans in the American colonial period. Breen and Innes focus not on slaves, but on a small group of freed indentured servants in Northampton County (in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia) who, according to the authors, maintained their freedom, secured property, and interacted with persons of different races and economic standing from 1620 through the 1670s. African Americans living on the Chesapeake were to some extent disadvantaged, say Breen and Innes, but this did not preclude the attainment of status roughly equal to that of certain white planters of the area. Continuously acting within black social networks, and forming economic relationships with white planters, local Native Americans, indentured servants, and white settlers outside the gentry class, the free African Americans of Northampton County held their own in the rough-hewn world of Chesapeake Bay.