Review: This is a slender volume whose simplicity belies the nature of the narrative within. Hurmence presents a carefully curated collection of the some 600 plus tales gathered during this Project. The only words that are her own is the introduction where she explains her criteria and editing choices. For the most part, she has maintained the voice of the speaker, keeping vernacular, vocabulary, exclamations, and descriptions. By doing this, she has preserved the authenticity of the voices, giving the reader a true glimpse into the life of these people.
One thing that surprised me what how well most of the narrators spoke about their masters. Given the horrors of slavery, I would have expected more to depict this travesty. And yet many did not. One speaker noted that owners in Virginia tended to treat slaves better become freedom was so close – merely a few hundred miles away. I wonder if this is accurate or if this is a product of the fact the people collecting the stories were white and sought out “white people aren’t so bad” stories. Perhaps reading this authors other works (collections from North and South Carolina) would help solve this question.The language is simple enough for younger readers, but the subject matter may require adult guidance to process. Still, I would highly recommend for educational purposes. This is a slender volume who's simplicity belies the nature of the narrative within.
Bookmarks: 4 of 5
Year Published: 1994
Date Finished: 4-15-2018