Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Freedom
by Ira Berlin, Marc Favreau, and Steven F. Miller
Publication Date: Oct 01, 1998
List Price: $49.95
Format: Hardcover, 355 pages
Imprint: The New Press
Publisher: The New Press
Parent Company: The New Press
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Early in the 1930s interviewers from the Federal Writers’ Project combed the American 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 of them on primitive recording devices. The nearly-inaudible recordings were placed in the Library of Congress, unheard by the general public, but now, remastered with the aid of modern technology, they offer the only known opportunity to hear the voices of former slaves.
Editors: Ira Berlin, Steven F. Miller, Marc Favreau
Publisher: New Press
Date Published: September 1998
Format: Paperback And Cassette
A book-and-tape set featuring the only known original recordings of interviews with former slaves, to be aired on public radio simultaneous with publication. Dramatic readings by prominent African-Americans of untapped interviews complement to incomparable recordings, to create a full, firsthand picture of African-American life before emancipation. 50 b&w photos.
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, re-mastered 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 untapped 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 was broadcast nationally on public radio in the fall of 1998.
Frederick Douglass Slave Narratives
- History / United States / 19th Century
- History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
- Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
- Social Science / Slavery