Stepney Underwood; from the Library of Congress Collection
Remembering Slavery: 
Those Who Survived Tell Their Stories
And one more thing I want you to promise me:  
that you's gonna tell all the children my story.
--Papa Dallas Stewart

About the Project
About the Project 

Their Voices 

Project Director 




Smithsonian Productions 

Institute of 
Language & Culture  

The WPA and the   
Archive of Folk Song  

    In the late 30's and early 40's, federal and private agencies sent interviewers across the South in an effort to document music and culture.  Among those interviewed were African-Americans like Laura Smalley  who had been born into slavery and had lived through the Civil War.   

    These pages have been coordinated with "Remembering Slavery"; this two-part radio documentary is an extraordinary saga of ordinary people.  They sat on porch swings and porch steps, sharing with strangers painful childhood memories of slavery before freedom came.  As the voices of Fountain Hughes, Laura Smalley, Harriet Smith and others speak to Americans today, the reality of slavery and its legacy comes alive.    

    Many of the interviews were documented on paper.  Some of the interviewers were able to record the ex-slaves' voices.  In this program, you will hear parts of these original recordings and dramatic readings of some of the written transcripts by actors Debbie Allen, Melba Moore, Louis Gossett Jr.,  Esther Rolle, James Earl Jones, Clifton Davis, and others.  

    And now, former slaves tell you in their own words of their lives in bondage.  And of what it was like to be a slave no more.  

 The Institute of Language and Culture (link not yet in place) Smithsonian Productions The Corporation for Public Broadcasting The National Endowment for the Humanities The Department of Information Technology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Southern Humanities Media Fund
Dr. Jeutonne Brewer's Homepage Timothy Flood's Homepage
These pages are designed, created and maintained by Dr. Jeutonne Brewer and Timothy Flood for the Institute of Language and Culture.  For ease of access, we've limited the use of frames amd java scripts; we hope you enjoy your visit. 

We welcome your questions and comments about these pages.  Please contact Brewer or Flood directly.   Thanks for your interest.   Last updated October 21,1998. 

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