Lay my burden down : a folk history of slavery

by B. A. Botkin

Paper Book, 1994





New York : Dell Publishing, 1994.


In the 1930's, the last decade when many men and  women who were born under slavery and freed by the  Emancipation Proclamation.still lived, the New  Deal's Federal Writing Project made an extraordinary  and important decision. It sent interviewers to  ask these African-American survivors : What does  it mean to be free? Even more, how does it  feel? "Does I remember much 'bout  slavery times? Well, there is  no way for me to disremember unless I  die." B.A. Botkin compiled nearly three hundred of  these narratives to create a rich, unvarnished  portrait of lives lived half slave, half free. In  it, people who experienced the seasonal rhythms of  plantation life . . .who were eyewitnesses to  Lincoln, Douglas, and Tubman . . .who had their  conciousness shaped by bondage . . .and who felt the  anguish of the lash have their memories brought to  life again. Their voices reach out across the  decades and teach us what they know -- our history and  our legacy in their telling of an indelible truth.… (more)



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