Enslaved families made a concerted effort to pass along their history.
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.
• 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
Jumping the Broom