Former Slaves Reveal Their Secrets
-- Government Interviews With Former Enslaved African Americans Published In "I Was A Slave" Book Series --
Book covers and family during slavery (background) - [Click To Enlarge]
Washington, DC (February 6, 2013) -- In the 1930's, thousands of formerly enslaved African-American elders dictated their full life stories during interviews that were conducted by the US federal government. These transcripts were stored in six archives in the United States.
Donna Wyant Howell, widely recognized expert of the transcripts and historian for PBS, started research in 1988 and began full-time in 1994. Howell began publishing the only series of books in which the former slaves' words are categorized by subject matter. The text of the books remains completely in their unedited words. Included are their photographs that were taken during the interviews and others that were taken during slavery.
The title of each book is I WAS A SLAVE. The subtitles of the first six books of the series are Descriptions of Plantation Life, The Lives of Slave Men, The Lives of Slave Women, The Breeding of Slaves, The Lives of Slave Children, and Slave Auctions.
The I WAS A SLAVE Book Collection and Howell have been featured on NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, CNN, C-SPAN, BET, NPR, Voice of America, and PBS, and in other broadcast and print media. (See below* for new unpublicized book.) The book series is being used as supplemental textbooks in libraries, special history classes, and seminars in high schools and universities, including Howard, Georgetown, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and many more. It's in hundreds of bookstores in America and abroad.
Anna Miller: We keeps full on what we gits, such as beans, co'nmeal, and molasses. We seldom gits meat. We gits 'bout all de milk we wants 'cause dey puts it in de trough and we helps ourselves. Dere was a trough for de slaves and one for de hogs. More: www.iwasaslave.com
The ancestors are finally on www.Facebook.com/iwasaslave and www.Twitter.com/iwasaslave to Like and Follow.
NOTE TO MEDIA:
Interview the Historian or Choose from 44 Complimentary Articles To Print
Donna Howell has compiled 44 articles on various topics that are primarily in the words of the former slaves. Each of the 44 has three versions: (1) the original unedited, southern dialect versions (that sometimes include the usage of "nigger" and sometimes don't), (2) the hybrid versions that replace that term with "slave" or "field hand," but retain most of the southern vernacular, and (3) the Standard English versions. Photographs (.jpg and .tif) are included. For the media, there is no charge for the usage with certain standard stipulations. The articles may be used with or without an interview of Howell.
To read and use the articles in the column, go to www.iwasaslave.com/column
To interview Donna Howell and write your own article, please call during business hours to schedule. Details: www.DonnaHowell.com
*The new book, American Slaves (which is the Standard English version of I WAS A SLAVE), will be published soon and is not yet available for media coverage. Please call to be put on the notification list. Sample of 20 pages online and also a PDF with photographs: www.AmericanSlaves.com
Deborah A. Brooks
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