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4/16/2001

Born in Slavery

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:36 am

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I’ve just visited Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938, a project hosted by the Library of Congress, and I’ve lost all eloquence. In the thirties, interviews were conducted with former slaves. Their personal stories are touching beyond words.

So many people have this notion that slavery ended ages and ages ago. Ancient history. But that’s not the case. My grandfather was older than I am when these interviews were taken. I don’t know my family history as well as I should, but his grandfather could have easily been a Union soldier.

There’s so much visual reminders of slavery down here still. Canals still used that were dug bu slaves with shovels. Big piles of rock cleared from pasture and farm land, covered with fifteen decades of lichen. Rows of tiny sharecropper cabins abandoned and overgrown, modeled directly from slave quarters. You don’t have to look far to see what society down here used to be based on.

Many thanks to RandomWalks for the link.

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