Norrece Jones - October 2, 2009
Enslaved Families and African American Narratives
Spoke of his new books - Black Slaver and antislavery: Race and Freedom in the Making of America. Examines the integral role African Americans in the making of America.
Through testimony of slave narratives we learn about institution of slavery and the bonds forged. There is a discomfort involved in the discussion of slavery for African American and Whites. The testimony left is an excellent way to learn about enslaved people if used with a critical eye
There are about 6,000 narratives in existence from interviews to biographies. Most of post-bellum interviews by white male interviewers in the depression. Sometimes interviewers were descendants of masters – some descendants of the enslaved. Problematic, but still valuable when used with a critical eye.
The presentation began with the playing of audio testimony of slavery from Remembering Slavery . The radio series, produced by Smithsonian Productions and the Institute of Language and Culture and heard on http://rememberingslavery.soundprint.org/index.html
Ended with the story of Sam and Louisa Everett
"Marce Jim called me and Sam ter him and ordered Sam to pull off his shirt- that was all the McClain niggers wore- and he said to me: Nor, 'do you think you can stand this big nigger?' He had that old bull whip flung acrost his shoulder, and Lawd, that man could hit so hard! So I jes said' yassur, I guess so,' and tried to hide my face so I couldn't see Sam's nakedness, but he made me look at him anyhow."
Well he told us what we must git busy and do in his presence, and we had to do it. After that we were considered man and wife. Me and Sam was a healthy pair and had fine, big babies, so I never had another man forced on me, thank God. Sam was kind to me and I learnt to love him."