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Slave Narrative

The question is what is slave narrative?

In this paper I will point out to the important facts about slave narrative and the essentials on why slave narrative is still very important to us today.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, slave narratives were an important means of opening a dialogue between blacks and whites about slavery and freedom. As historical sources, slave narratives document slave life primarily in the south from the invaluable perspective of first-person. Increasingly in the 1840s and 1850s they reveal the struggles of people of color in the North, as fugitives from the South recorded the inequalities between America's ideal of freedom and the reality of racism in the so-called "free states." After the Civil War, former slaves continued to record their experiences under slavery, partly to ensure that the people in the future did not forget what had threatened it's existence, and what happen in the past to these formal slaves. Slave narratives and their fictional children have played a major role in national debates about slavery, freedom, and American identity that have challenged the conscience and the historical consciousness of the United States ever since its founding. Many slave narrators became witnesses as well, revealing their struggles, sorrows, aspirations, and triumphs in persuasively personal story-telling. Usually the slave narrator portrays slavery as a condition of extreme physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual withdrawal, a kind of hell on earth. It was said that Precipitating the narrator's decision to escape is some sort of personal crisis, such as the sale of a loved one or a dark night of the soul in which hope contends with despair for the spirit of the slave.(William Andrews)

fugitive slave narratives of the mid nineteenth century, up to the thousands of oral histories of former slaves gathered by the Federal Writers' Project in the 1920s and 1930s,

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