On Jordan's Stormy Banks: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Georgia

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Editorial Reviews

During the Great Depression unemployed writers and researchers were recruited by the Federal Writers' Project to interview former slaves and collect the memories of their bondage years. These first-person narratives of the last generation of U.S. slaves languished for years in archives available only to scholars and researchers. Thanks to the efforts of editors at John F. Blair, Publisher, selections from these archives are being made available in single volumes. This title recounts the stories told by elderly blacks in Georgia to the white writers. While the narratives describe daily life, both in domestic service and in the fields, there is hardly any real criticism of the lack of freedom encountered. Perhaps, as the editors surmise, fear of retaliation caused these older people to look on the era of slavery with an unrealistic nostalgia. In the depths of the Depression, as they struggled to survive, perhaps the past seemed better. Yet there are some stories that relate the cruelty and beatings, the attempts to run away, as well as the casual destruction of family ties as loved ones were sold off a plantation and never seen again. There are many stories of rituals, weddings, births, church gatherings, and songs that enlivened their days. Of particular interest are the concerns that surfaced about lives and property as the Yankees came sweeping through the area. Many of these same slaves told of remaining on the land and working for their former masters. After the Civil War, others did leave the plantations eventually to seek work in the cities and towns nearby. These touching voices from the past evoke many emotions and remind the present generations not only of the degradation ofslavery but also of the resilience of the human spirit. The Real Voices, Real History Series is a welcome addition to the American story. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, John F. Blair (1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103), 196p, 19cm, 00-062104, $7.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Mary T. Gerrity; Retired Libn. Upper Marlboro, MD, May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895872289
  • Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Real Voices, Real History Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 4.84 (w) x 7.39 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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