Before Freedom When I Just Can Remember: Twenty-seven Oral Histories of Former South Carolina Slaves

Before Freedom When I Just Can Remember: Twenty-seven Oral Histories of Former South Carolina Slaves

by Hurmence
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

During the 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project undertook the task of locating former slaves and recording their oral histories. The more than ten thousand pages of interviews with over two thousand former slaves were filed in the Library of Congress, where they were known to scholars and historians but few others. From this storehouse of information, Belinda Hurmence

Overview

During the 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project undertook the task of locating former slaves and recording their oral histories. The more than ten thousand pages of interviews with over two thousand former slaves were filed in the Library of Congress, where they were known to scholars and historians but few others. From this storehouse of information, Belinda Hurmence has chosen twenty-seven narratives from the twelve hundred type-written pages of interviews with 284 former South Carolina slaves. The result is a moving, eloquent, and often surprising firsthand account of the lost years of slavery and first years of freedom. The former slaves describe the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the houses they lived in, the work they did, and the treatment they received. They give their impressions of Yankee soldiers, the Klan, their masters, and their newfound freedom. In Before Freedom, When I Just Can Remember, Hurmence makes accessible to the casual reader what many scholars and historians have long known to be a great source of our nation's history.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Selected from the Federal Writers' Pro ject slave narratives, this first-hand ac count of slavery features interviews with 27 former South Carolina slaves who were at least ten years old when they were freed. It is a successor to Hurmence's My Folks Don't Want Me To Talk about Slav ery (1984).--MR
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- From 284 Federal Writers' Project interviews gathered during the 1930s, Hurmence has edited 27 pieces in which ex-slaves from South Carolina discuss their homes, chores, masters, families, and celebrations during slave times. As she notes in her introduction, the former slaves' seeming nostalgia for old times may have resulted from their ages (all were over 80 at the time of the interviews) and Depression-linked poverty, the reality that freedom often meant sharecropping and violence from the KKK, and the fact that their interviewers were white. Nonetheless, the collection offers students a chance to use readable primary sources to research details of the everyday lives of Southern slaves.-- Alice Conlon, University of Houston

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895870698
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
02/28/2007
Series:
Real Voices, Real History
Pages:
135
Sales rank:
768,888
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.58(h) x 0.34(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >