The view that slavery could best be described by those who had themselves experienced it personally has found expression in several thousand commentaries, autobiographies, narratives, and interviews with those who endured. Although most of these accounts appeared before the Civil War, more than one-third are the result of the ambitious efforts of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to interview surviving ex-slaves during the 1930s. The result of these efforts was the Slave Narrative ...

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