ABC-CLIO

Slave Culture

A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project

by Spencer Crew, Lonnie Bunch, and Clement Price, Editors

Print Flyer
Abortion in the United States

May 2014

Greenwood

Pages 1126
Volumes 3
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
Description

For the first time, the WPA Slave Narratives are organized by theme, making it easier to examine—and understand—specific aspects of slave life and culture.

There is no better way to appreciate history than to experience it through the eyes of those who lived it. Slave Culture: A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project brings together the memories of the last generation of enslaved African Americans gathered through interviews conducted between 1936 and 1938. This three-volume work stands apart from previous Slave Narrative collections in that it organizes the narratives thematically, bringing the rich tapestry of slave culture to life in a fresh way. Within each thematic area, multiple excerpts span time, gender, and geography. An introductory essay for each theme and a contextual explanation for each narrative help readers draw lessons from this vast collection, while an introduction to the work explains the Works Progress Administration's Slave Narrative project—illuminating still another era in American history.

Features

  • Provides topically arranged access to views expressed in the slave narratives, something never done before
  • Offers students both contextual analysis and primary source material so they can draw their own conclusions about various aspects of slavery
  • Creates a personalized understanding of the challenges that accompanied enslavement
  • Allows various populations, such as previously enslaved women, to speak bluntly about the particular difficulties they faced under slavery
Author Info

Spencer Crew, PhD, is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. His published works include Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915–1940 and Black Life in Secondary Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Communities of Camden and Elizabeth, N.J., 1860–1920. He is also coauthor of The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden and Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives. Crew holds a doctorate in history from Rutgers University.

Lonnie Bunch is the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. His published works include Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on History, Race and Museums and Picturing the Promise: The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington. He is coauthor of The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden and The Smithsonian's America: An Exhibition on American History and Culture. Bunch holds a master's degree from American University.

Clement Price, PhD, is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University. His publications include "History and Memory: Why it Matters That We Remember" in Baltimore ‘68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City; "Break Every Yoke, Let the Oppressed Go Free! African Americans and the Civil War," in The Positive Community; and "The Foundations of Contemporary African American Life and History," in Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection, Howard University Gallery of Art Brochure. Price holds a doctorate in history from Rutgers University.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"The editors have created a solid resource for students by organizing the narratives into categories, using selections that focus on particular reflections of the enslaved life. . . . This is a valuable contribution to United States history. Slave Culture is well-written and organized; it is ideal for the high school and undergraduate student. Upper-level college students and researchers will find some use for this book as well."—ARBA

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