Remembering Slavery

Remembering Slavery

African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

Book - 1998
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Baker & Taylor
Draws on archival recordings to document the lives of slaves and their adjustment to freedom

Norton Pub
Millions of Americans have read works of literature, from The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass to Beloved that attempt to portray life under slavery. But only a few people alive today have heard the actual voices of men and women who experienced those dark days firsthand. Now, for the first time, historic recordings of former slaves recounting their own experiences of slavery are made available to the American public in Remembering Slavery. Early in the 1930s, interviewers from the Federal Writers' Project combed the South in search of former slaves. The interviewers spoke with hundreds of elderly people about their experiences in slavery and preserved the voices of some on primitive recording devices. The recordings were placed in the Library of Congress and have never been heard by the wider public. Now, remastered using state-of-the-art equipment, the recordings offer the only known opportunity to hear the voices of former slaves. This groundbreaking book-and-tape package of interviews and transcripts includes more than a dozen of the only known original recordings of people who actually experienced enslavement. They remember relationships between master and slave; survival techniques in the face of hardship; family life, marriage, and childhood under slavery; experiences behind Confederate and Union lines during the Civil War; and, finally, the coming of freedom. Dramatic readings by prominent African Americans of untaped interviews complement the incomparable recordings, to create a full, firsthand picture of African American life before Emancipation. The reading and the primary source recordings edited by Smithsonian Productions will be broadcast nationally on public radio in the fall of 1998.

& Taylor

Published in conjunction with the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution, a set of two audiocassettes and an illustrated book features more than a dozen of the only known recordings of former slaves recounting their experiences. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : New Press ; Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, c1998
ISBN: 9781565844254
Characteristics: lii, 355 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. + 2 sound cassettes (analog)


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