When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection

When I Was a Slave Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection In an effort to provide unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression of the s the United States Government through the Works Progress Administration WPA funded the Federal Writers

  • Title: When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection
  • Author: Norman R. Yetman
  • ISBN: 9780486420707
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Paperback
  • In an effort to provide unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States Government, through the Works Progress Administration WPA , funded the Federal Writers Project One of the group s most noteworthy and enduring achievements was the Slave Narrative Collection, consisting of than 2,000 transcripts of interviews with formerIn an effort to provide unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States Government, through the Works Progress Administration WPA , funded the Federal Writers Project One of the group s most noteworthy and enduring achievements was the Slave Narrative Collection, consisting of than 2,000 transcripts of interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple words, provided often startling first person accounts of their lives in bondage This book reprints some of the most detailed and engrossing life histories in the collection Each narrative is complete.Thirty four gripping testimonies are included, with all slave occupations represented from field hand and cook to French tutor and seamstress Personal treatment reported by these individuals also encompassed a wide range from the most harsh and exploitative to living and working conditions that were intimate and benevolent.An illuminating and unique source of information about life in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, these memoirs, most importantly, preserve the opinions and perspective of those who were enslaved Invaluable to students, teachers, and specialists in Southern history, this compelling book will intrigue anyone interested in the African American experience.

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      Published :2018-08-26T17:18:56+00:00

    1 thought on “When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection”

    1. It was a mistake to read this one after Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, because that is a single narrative; or, rather, a collection of narratives from a single person, taking place over an entire life span. In contrast, this book is a series of very short narratives from 34 different people. Because of this, although many of the stories are gripping/heartbreaking/rage-inducing, as a book it doesn't have the same power that Jacobs's work does. Despite this, an engrossing read.

    2. It would have been hard for a white man or woman to write about slavery. It would have been hard for a descendant of slaves to write about slavery. With this book the stories are first hand. When I was a slave came into being during the great depression of the 1930s when FDR created the WPA, which funded the Federal Writer's Project. From the FWP this book is a compilation of interviews with former slaves, ages 84 to 120 years. Having read extensively on the subject of chattel slavery, I thought [...]

    3. This book really impacted me. To read first-hand accounts of American slaves was extremely eye-opening. There was a vast range of experiences related. Many of them made me cringe - I am dumbfounded and ashamed that humans have the capacity to be so heartless and cruel to each other. There were also many examples of kindness in the midst of a horrible time. Reading this book has spurred me on to read some other, longer slave narratives.

    4. I gave this 5 stars, only because it was the former slaves truths was very hard to read and to get through are a few things I learned:1. White women owners were just as or worse than the white men owners.2. It was okay to use the Bible to say be loyal and obey your master, but it was a punishable offense to pray for freedom.3. Many of the slaves would say my master was as good as it gets and I was better off while with him all the while talking about the beatings and general mistreatment the rec [...]

    5. This is what I call meaningful history. This collection of 34 different narratives told from former slaves is powerful and depicts the cruelty, inhumanity and complexity of slavery. Read it! Let their voices sink in

    6. This was our nation - this is our nation. 2016, We have elected a white supremacist to be our president - an orange one at that - maybe next they'll release Charlie Manson an we'll all follow him - 2016, 156 years after Appomattox and the body count in the battle over racism keeps climbing - the next 4 years are going to be hellish. The book was well put together - very small font - yet still easy to read - Wonderful artifact from the Roosevelt years. Good text, only one typo, "1868" should have [...]

    7. I didn't even now such a collection existed when I found this book at the MLK, Jr. memorial in Atlanta.This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in the subject of slavery. Almost every one of the entries starts off with, "I was owned by" This book is a collection of first-person slave narratives. Each entry is complete and unedited. Each person interviewed was born a slave and then was freed through emancipation. The interviews were conducted during the Great Depression as a project o [...]

    8. Exploring an important part of American history, this book offers a look into what it was like to grow up in slavery. Each chapter starts fresh with a new mini-biography, collecting 34 in total. Each American featured had a different relationship with their owner, and took different paths after gaining freedom. Although relatively short, it's not a book you'll likely be able to read through quickly. First, it's obviously tough emotionally at times. Second, it's difficult to read too many short, [...]

    9. Interesting Narratives from people in their 80s, 90's and even 100 who told of their life as slaves and gaining their freedom at the end of the Civil War. Most were teenagers are in their early 20's when they were given the opportunity to leave their masters are remain on the plantation. Not everyone jumped at the chance to go out to the unknown. I enjoyed the read and learned a little something about making life choicesey do not always come easy.

    10. Real human experiencesTo hear them talk an some of them still refer to themselves as property, they don't really talk in past tense, they know they're free but they're mind set is still enslaved, an the stories they tell are horrible but I feel its important that we remember our history an that includes they injustice.

    11. I read this for a history project and it was the most insightful thing I have ever read. The wealth of knowledge I attained from this book was immeasurable. 4stars because I don't want to read it over and over.

    12. very good. I love my history and it is better when it comes from the actually people that made th history.

    13. This should be required reading in all U.S. schools. Perhaps more people will grow up to abhor racism and hopefully many less people will aspire to join white supremacy, nut-job hate groups.

    14. Personal stories always complicate the broad strokes of history and reinforce them all at once. The portrait of slavery here is both more and less cruel than the variety I grew up learning about. The barbarity of the system was its arbitrariness, where a slave was wholly at the whim of a master. The cruel ones in this book have a near nightmare quality. One of them murders his slave's wife and has him dispose of the body in the Mississippi River. Kinder masters tended to have their slaves work f [...]

    15. This is a great book that includes many interviews of slaves and their recounted experiences of slavery and life on the plantation. The collection of slave narratives in this book are not directly word for word and some parts of this book were changed and rewritten by the author Norman R. Yetman. In this book the author uses several aspects of craft. First, he uses “voice”, but not his voice in particular, the voices of the slaves. Yetman uses this technique very well in which he decided to [...]

    16. During the Depression, the Works Progress Administration established the Federal Writers' Project to give work to unemployed writers. One of the projects was the establishment of the Slave Narrative Collection, a set of over 2,000 interviews with former slaves, then in their 80's or older, about their lives under slavery. In When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection, Norman R. Yetman has selected 34 interviews for this 2002 publication. These powerful interviews draw from a [...]

    17. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Now, I’m sure that the WPA did some good things that have had lasting benefits, but I also noticed that Larry Schweikart wrote in A Patriot’s History of the United States that “the WPA generated jobs of far more dubious value than the PWA” (Public Works Administration). In any event, one of the “most noteworthy and enduring achievements of the WPA” [...]

    18. It took me nearly a year to finish this 150 page book, and that's simply because it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy to read the 34 narratives of former slaves. And it shouldn't be. Commissioned by Roosevelt during the Great Depression as part of the Federal Writer's Project, some 2000 interviews were recorded with people who had formerly lived as slaves. This edition contains 34 of those, ranging from truly horrific experiences to those that were almost familial between master and slave. But as Tom [...]

    19. When I Was a Slave was an ultimate eye opener for me as a person and discovering what my heritage was all about. This book is based on transcript interview entries of former slaves and what they went through in this time period. This came about in the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit head on and the Works Progress Administration created jobs. One of the jobs consisted of the Slave Narrative Collection which created this book. There are certain moments that touched me to the point of sheadi [...]

    20. Simply put, this is a book all Americans should read. As time passes and we forget or never really know our own history it is not only educational but eye opening and emotional to read about this horrible period of our history. The stories themselves cover the lives of slaves, in short 2 to 5 pages, sketches from various states who held various jobs with various types of masters - but all were slaves. They are hard to read but also each person's personality comes through the pages and back to li [...]

    21. This book is a treasure. "In an effort to provide unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression of the 1930's, the U.S. Government, through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) funded the Federal Writers' Project. One of the group's most noteworthy and enduring achievements was the Slave Narrative Collection, consisting of more than 2,000 transcripts of interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt simple words, provided often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondag [...]

    22. Selections from the (in)famous slave narrative collections from aged former slaves interviewed during the Great Depression. The variety here is amazing, ranging from stories about benevolent masters mostly loved by their slaves, to murderous masters committing deeds I dare not write on (far worse than rape). Some of the respondents were mere toddlers when slavery ended in the 1860s, whereas others were in their late 40s yes, that's right, some of the respondents were over 120 years old at the t [...]

    23. This should be required reading for everyone. We've all seen movies that dealt with slavery: whether it's romanticized like Gone With the Wind, historical like Roots or fantasized like Django Unchained. But this collection of 34 short bios dictated in the 1930's to journalists working for the WPA by elderly former slaves personalized the varied experiences of these people. The current state of racial inequality and racial tension is easier to understand when you hear from the actual voices the d [...]

    24. Not sure how ANYONE can give this book less than five stars without feeling like a total self-centered ass. This collection of slave narratives gives us a peek into the lives of these people and their experiences as slaves in the American south. Many of the interviews are written in the vernacular of each individual, so the book is less about writing style and more about the heartache and struggles involved in being a slave during that time. The stories are sincere and many of them tragic. I am [...]

    25. It's difficult to rate a book like this with words of "liked it" or "didn't like it". The narratives are amazingd, touching, awe-inspiring and fascinating by turns. It's difficult to believe people could treat each other this wayd encouraging how so many rose above it all. The detail is incredible, considering that some of the people interviewed were in their 90's and even a few over 100!

    26. Compelling book!What a book! It seemed that all the former slaves desired freedom over all else. That was the connecting thread throughout the memoirs. It surprised me that so many female slave owners were so very cruel to the slaves. Read this one for an intimate look at this bygone way of life. However, remember that even today, people are STILL being bought, sold, and held in bondage!

    27. I picked this book up the other night thinking that I would just read one or two of the memoirs. An hour later I was still completely engrossed in this book. What was done to the blacks during the time of slavery should not be forgotten, but this book to me was more about the triumph of the human spirit. Over and over again I was amazed at the things that these people lived through and chose to not be bitter about- a lesson we could all stand to learn again and again.

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