Discuss the role of Slavery in this nation and how did the face of slavery vary across the country, or did it?


This week I want you all to take a look at slavery in your book and thought the eyes of a former slave. During the Great Depression the US government created the Federal Writers project. One of their tasks was to collect and preserve the oral history of those that had been born into slavery (Slave Narratives). This collection has been digitized and made available to the public via the Library of Congress’s website (see below).

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html

What I want each of you to do is research this site and find at least two stories of individuals that that you find compelling who endured slavery. Compare and contrast these stories, use some of their direct quotes. Then tell us why you picked the stories and how they compare to what you had previously learned about slavery. Finally speak on the validity of these histories, back this part up.

I also want you all to discuss the role of Slavery in this nation. How did the face of slavery vary across the country, or did it? What was the social, economic, and political impact of that “peculiar institution” and was it necessary for the nations development.

How to use the website

You may search these oral histories by using the keyword search or by state. Try entering you last name or a family name into the keyword box. Why you may ask? If you’re African-American these stories are the lives and struggles of your ancestors; if you’re white, where do you think these folks got their last name from, more times than not their owners. I know some of you don’t fit in to the equation so try looking up you hometown.

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