In the 1930s, the Federal Writers’ Project undertook a massive effort at gathering the oral testimony of former slaves. Those ex-slaves were in their declining years by the time of the Great Depression, but Elizabeth Sparks, Elige Davison, and others like them nonetheless provided a priceless record of life under the yoke: where slaves lived, how they were treated, what they ate, how they worked, how they adjusted to freedom. Here, Belinda Hurmence presents the interviews of 21 former Virginia slaves. This is a companion volume to Hurmence’s popular collections of North Carolina and South Carolina slave narratives, My Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk About Slavery and Before Freedom, When I Just Can Remember.
Belinda Hurmence was born in Oklahoma, raised in Texas, and educated at the University of Texas and Columbia University. She has written several novels for young people, including Tough Tiffany (an ALA Notable Book), A Girl Called Boy (winner of the Parents' Choice Award), Tancy (winner of a Golden Kite Award), and The Nightwalker. She now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.