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American Slave Narratives

This isn’t strictly on topic, but I chanced recently to rent a documentary that consisted mostly of black actors reading from interviews conducted in 1936 to 1938 with former slaves. Today, I came across a website that has some of the interviews posted, along with pictures and sound files.

What struck me in listening to these stories was how similar the experience was of the American slaves at the time of the Civil War to their counterparts in Haiti from the late 18th Century. In some ways, slave life in America was better, in some ways worse, but in both cases it was brutal business and cruelly inhumane. Reading these may be even more powerful than the performances were.

American Slave Narratives