Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emacipation

Overview

A book-and-tape set featuring the only known original recordings of interviews with former slaves, to be aired on public radio simultaneous with publication. Dramatic readings by prominent African-Americans of untaped interviews complement to incomparable recordings, to create a full, firsthand picture of African-American life before emancipation.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Audiobook (Cassette - Includes cassette)
$41.34
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$49.95 List Price
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $5.00   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

A book-and-tape set featuring the only known original recordings of interviews with former slaves, to be aired on public radio simultaneous with publication. Dramatic readings by prominent African-Americans of untaped interviews complement to incomparable recordings, to create a full, firsthand picture of African-American life before emancipation.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
This book-and-tape set contains the only known original recordings of interviews with former slaves, conducted during the early 20th century.
Johanna Berkman
These firsthand accounts describe the nearly inconceivable violence to which so many slaves were subject....[This was a] most disgraceful period in our nation's history.
The New York Times Book Review
Los Angeles Times
This is not black history. This is U.S. history.
Washington Post Book World
Chilling. . .fills a void in the slavery literature.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two projects begun independently and presented together here provide chilling witness to slavery's persistent legacies. Transcripts of 124 former slaves interviewed in the 1920s and 1930s are accompanied by recently restored recorded interviews that have languished in the Library of Congress since 1941. Historian Berlin, founding director of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, is a master of allowing the natural drama of history to unfold. The tapes particularly are riveting--perhaps especially for those seeking their roots in Southern slavery. Until the modern civil rights movement, Berlin notes, historians' "struggle over slavery" was considered "too important to be left to the [blacks] who experienced it," but their experience has increasingly been coming to light as more archival material is unearthed and made available. Still, some seams are apparent. The original transcribers of the print interviews (nine appear both in print and on cassette) made numerous and idiosyncratic editorial interventions that at times can read, as Berlin notes, like "minstrel-speak." Actor James Earl Jones and dancer Debbie Allen reading selections from the interviews on portions of the tape are not nearly as credible or moving as the voices of former slaves. Those wonderfully present voices describe family life, work ethic and recreational patterns, religious ethos and resistance in answer to questions posed in often unmistakably condescending terms by white interviewers. This project will enrich every American home and classroom. 40 b&w photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This is not the first publication of selections from the Library of Congress's interviews with former slaves, collected in the 1930s under the auspices of the Works Project Administration. But it is the most effective and enduring presentation of these invaluable living records we are likely to see, in no small part thanks to the accompanying audiotapes, which present actual interviews for the very first time. Quite literally, history comes alive in this unparalleled work.
School Library Journal
YA-Through remastered recordings of recollections by former slaves and transcribed interviews, this book-and-cassette set presents a powerful and emotional picture of enslavement. It is compelling to hear the actual voices of ex-slaves in these first-person narratives collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP). Historian Berlin provides background and commentary. The editors explain that the narratives were perhaps influenced by the interviewers' selection of ex-slaves who were polite and compliant in expressing views that were not overly hostile to the institution or the mostly white Southerners with whom they were conversing. Though the speakers recalled horrors, they also expressed sadness for a slave master's death or sympathy for his hardships. YAs will come away from these recollections overwhelmed by the harshness, sadism, and brutality experienced by these former slaves-the separation of family members, food and water deprivation, the unrelenting work, the beatings, the murders. The resilience, survival skills, sense of family and community, and personal perspectives expressed will profoundly affect readers.-Pamela Cooper-Smuzynski, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Los Angeles Times
This is not black history. This is U.S. history.
Johanna Berkman
These firsthand accounts describe the nearly inconceivable violence to which so many slaves were subject....[This was a] most disgraceful period in our nation's history.
The New York Times Book Review
The Missouri Review
For the first time the general public is introduced to the poignant voices of the last living victims of the institution that has most shaped American history...Both taped and written interviews document almost every aspect of slave life...Finally, we hear Emancipation described—and freedom defined—by the people who endured the worst oppression in American history.
Washington Post Book World
Chilling. . .fills a void in the slavery literature.
Kirkus Reviews
Harrowing first-person accounts—not only on the printed page but in audiotapes of original interviews conducted decades ago—of American slavery and its aftermath. Historians Berlin and Miller, along with University of Maryland doctoral candidate Favreau, have collected dozens of excerpts culled from interviews done with former slaves in the 1930s under the auspices of the Federal Writers Project. The book's most immediate theme is the sheer savagery of the institution. Slaves were, of course, generally regarded as mere property and accordingly were stripped not only of all their rights but of virtually all their humanity. Their fates lay in the hands of capricious owners. Ex-slave Vinnie Busby, for example, who grew up on a Mississippi plantation, recalls how, when his master wanted to punish one of his slaves, "he took dat darkie and hitched him to a plow an' plowed him jes' like a horse." Men were forced to stand passively aside as their pregnant mates were ruthlessly assaulted. Slave owners didn't hesitate to compel couplings among particularly robust slaves to produce a new generation of hardy laborers. There were exceptions, though, to the prevalent cruelty. As Rachel Cruze recalls, her overseers not only allowed slaves to visit their wives on neighboring plantations, but always sent along presents of food for them. And small pleasures did exist. Organized amusements such as corn huskings and Christmas festivities broke the drudgery of the slaves' everyday lives. Religion, too, provided some solace. Published in cooperation with the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, and accompanied by two 60-minute cassettes with dramatic readings by the likes of James Earl Jonesand Melba Moore, as well as excerpts from the original recordings, this book is a welcome addition to the literature of a critical period in American history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565844254
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Includes cassette
  • Pages: 355
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2002

    Wonderful as a story and for reference

    This is the perfect book for research. There are many shocking things about slavery which you would have never known. This book is excellent for reasearch papers. I also recommend it as a reading book for people who are interested in slavery. It is a must-read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)