Question

Please listen or read the following: Interview with Fountain Hughes, Baltimore, 1949; Laura Smalley; and Aunt Harriet Smith of Hempstead Texas, 1941.

You are to write a four-page paper that addresses the following questions.

What was daily life like for each of these slaves? How did they describe and relate to life under slavery? How were they similar, different? How were each able to cope with life on the plantation? Are these interviews reliable sources? Why or why not? What are the benefits of these narratives?

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The Library of Congress embarked on a project that sought to shed light on the actual slave experience prior to the Civil War. They interviewed several former slaves, most of whom were senior citizens, and placed the interviews on audio tape to ensure that their experiences were preserved for perpetuity. Interviews with Fountain Hughes (1949), Laura Smalley (1941) and Aunt Harriet Smith (1941) provided a first-hand account of the life of an enslaved African-American.
Fountain Hughes was 101 years old at the time of his interview. He noted that his grandfather was originally one of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves. For him, life on the plantation taught him to keep very careful track of his money when he became free...

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