Bullwhip Days the Slaves Remember

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9780380708840: Bullwhip Days the Slaves Remember

Former slaves describe their experiences in captivity and portray the harsh conditions they faced in everyday life

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As part of the Federal Writers' Project in the 1920s and 1930s, a rich oral history of slavery was compiled from interviews with thousands of former slaves. Selections were first published in 1945 in B.A. Botkin's Lay My Burden Down , and later in collections by Norman Yetman and Lester Julius, now all out of print. The complete set is still available (George P. Rawick, ed. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography , 19 vols, 1972; Suppl. Series 1, 12 vols., 1978; Suppl. Series 2, 10 vols., 1980, Greenwood Pr.). Although this sample of 29 full narratives and several excerpts is excellent, recalling such varied experiences as religion, sexuality, and escape attempts, editor Mellon provides no historical context or setting. As a result, the larger meaning of a people's resilience in adversity is lost. Currently, libraries in need of a one-volume sampling of this fascinating body of work will have to be content with this faint echo. Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Avon Books (1990)
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