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Narratives of Formerly Enslaved Floridians

These compelling interviews with former slaves were recorded by the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project from 1936-1938. The Library of Congress assembled these documents which they described as including "informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations." These 40 interviews documented by field workers in the Florida unit, represented one of 17 particpating states in a federal initiative that produced a total of over 2,000 interviews. The narratives provide students an opportunity to experience history at a personal level through the words of African Americans who spent their childhood and teenage years as the property of their owner, deprived of personal liberty and familial connection, and often physically abused. The collection is presented with the permission and cooperation of the Florida Historical Society, owner of the original documents.

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