Paper back issue of N.C. slave narratives
(from publisher press release)
John F. Blair, Publisher's Real Voices, Real History™ series is comprised of true personal accounts from former slaves. The series first started with the 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA) slave narratives.
During the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt employed jobless writers
and researchers to capture thousands of voices of former slaves spread throughout the United States. The WPA eventually collected more than two thousand narratives from seventeen states, cataloging them in the Library of Congress. However, the stories languished until the 1970s when George Rawick put the narratives into a form that was more accessible to the public, entitled The American Slave: A Composite Biography.
Once in book form, many readers were still intimidated by the multivolume sets of slave narratives. To make them more accessible, John F. Blair and its Real Voices, Real History™ editors organized the narratives by state, starting first with My Folks Don’t Want Me To Talk About Slavery: Personal Accounts of Slavery in North Carolina published in 1984 and edited by Belinda Hurmence.
Because the interviews were conducted during the Great Depression, the collection’s 21 first-person accounts from North Carolina often provide surprising and valuable insights about the institution of slavery and its effect on the people involved. Former slave Patsy Mitchner said, “Slavery was a bad thing, and freedom, of the kind we got, with nothing to live on, was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lying with his head pointing north, the other with his head pointing south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake called slavery lay with his head pointed south, and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit the nigger, and they was both bad.”
For more information about My Folks Don’t Want me to Talk About Slavery and other books in the series, visit at www.blairpub.com.