Slave Experience Paper (10% of final grade)
During the course of African American history, students will be exposed to the context and particulars surrounding slavery, however to expose students to the actual experiences of slavery this assignment allows students to dive into one slave narrative to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of slavery and how these experiences have shaped America.
Paper Requirements (10% of final grade):
2-3 page 12-point font double spaced paper due on Sunday, March 7th
Students are required to have three sources: Revel textbook, Slave Narrative, and John Blassingame’s Slave Community.
Use Kate Turabian documentation style to cite sources throughout the paper (link to the slave narrative)
As historical documents, slave narratives chronicle the evolution of white supremacy in the South from eighteenth-century slavery through early twentieth-century segregation and disfranchisement. As autobiographies these narratives give voice to generations of black people who, despite being written off by white southern literature, still found a way to bequeath a literary legacy of enormous collective significance to the South and the United States. Expected to concentrate primarily on eye-witness accounts of slavery, many slave narrators become eye-witnesses as well, revealing their struggles, sorrows, aspirations, and triumphs in compellingly personal story-telling.
This semester, students should read one of three slave narratives and select the narrative to focus on within this paper. Don’t pick more than one!
John Fields Slave Narrative
Sarah Graves Slave Narrative
Phillip Johnson Slave Narrative
Anna Scott Slave Narrative
The Slave Experience Paper should answer the following questions/prompts:
How does the former slave describe life before emancipation? What did individual slaves do before the Civil War and afterward? How does the former slave describe the role of their slaveowner?
What was the role of violence, family, or religion? What is the coping mechanism this former slave relies on to survive slavery?
Did emancipation change their lives? If so, how?
What does this oral history teach us about historical events? How does this narrative support or contradict themes addressed by Blassingame?
What question does this narrative raise?
Do you think this narrative is factually correct? Are memories and personal stories always factually correct?
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