UC Berkeley Library

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Using the Library during COVID-19

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Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives

When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than 4 million slaves were set free. By the late 1930's, 100,000 former slaves were still alive. In the midst of the Great Depression, journalists and writers traveled the country to record the memories of the last generation of African-Americans born into bondage. Over 2,000 interviews were transcribed as spoken, in the vernacular of the time, to form a unique historical record. Presented here are dramatic readings from these narratives, bringing to life the pride and Special features: original slave narrative audio recording of Fountain Hughes; biographies of the ex-slaves featured in the documentary. HBO Video, c2003. 75 min.
Awards American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adultsweb web sites: Slave Narrative site, Library of Congress