A heart-curdling oral history by American shoes of their days in bondage. In the mid-30's, the Federal Writers' Project...

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BULLWHIP DAYS: The Slaves Remember

A heart-curdling oral history by American shoes of their days in bondage. In the mid-30's, the Federal Writers' Project dispatched interviewers to question the few thousand ex-slaves still alive; here, edited by historian Mellon (The Faces of Lincoln, 1980, not reviewed), are reminiscences by 29 former slaves about their lives, plus extracts from the recollections of the other 2000 slaves interviewed, grouped under headings such as ""Slave Children, Food and Cooking, Stealing, and Fading Remembrances of Africa"" and ""Slave Auctions, Forced Breeding, Rape, and Running Away."" The use of the vernacular makes this sometimes difficult going, and may offend some--""Befo' I's a field hand, dis nigger never gits whupped, 'cept for is: Massa use me for huntin', and use me for de gun rest""--but this extraordinary oral collage will leave no doubts in readers' minds that, as another ex-slave put it, ""Slavery was the worst days that was ever seed in the world.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988