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Bullwhip Days

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“Twenty-nine oral histories and additional excerpts, selected from 2000 interviews with former slaves conducted in the 1930s for a WPA Federal Writers Project, document the conditions of slavery that . . . lie at the root of today’s racism.” —Publishers Weekly
In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration commissioned an oral history of the remaining former slaves. Bullwhip Days is a remarkable compendium of selections from these extraordinary interviews, providing an unflinching portrait of the world of government-sanctioned slavery of Africans in America. Here are twenty-nine full narrations, as well as nine sections of excerpts related to particular aspects of slave life, from religion to plantation life to the Reconstruction era. Skillfully edited, these chronicles bear eloquent witness to the trials of slaves in America, reveal the wide range of conditions of human bondage, and provide sobering insight into the roots of racism in today’s society.
“Remarkably articulate . . . vivid, moving, and beautifully cadenced.” —The New Yorker