Digitised Slave Narratives

“The astounding collection of life stories made available in the “Opinions Regarding Slavery” collection held at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and which now can be seen via JSTOR’s Open Community Collections, allows for surprises and revelations as well as confirming and enriching our knowledge of better known aspects of life under slavery. It veers from pedestrian details about things such as lack of shoes to sharp memories of torture, accounts of Ku Klux Klan activity and, almost always, the pain of family separation. These 229 interviews were conducted with elderly survivors of slavery, and consistently demonstrate that the worst memory of all was having a family torn apart. As Lewis Parker of South Carolina noted, sadly: “I will never git [sic] over it.” Those wounds never did heal.” Read full story here.

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