Slave Voices - Preface

Slave Voices (Illustration) American History Music Slaves and Slave Owners Ethics African American History Civil Rights Law and Politics Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs

Photograph of William Still, a conductor of the underground railroad.  Image online, courtesy ushistoryimages.com website. 


The race must not forget the rock
from whence they were hewn,
nor the pit
from whence they were digged.

William Still
"Father of the Underground Railroad"


Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner, has dedicated his career to one objective: making sure no one forgets what happened to his people during Hitler’s Third Reich. To that end, thousands of survivors have had their stories electronically recorded. We are able to see their anguished faces, and hear their breaking voices, as they describe their personal tragedies.

But what of that other long-persecuted people - Africans - who were uprooted from their homes, transported to unknown lands and made to serve the needs of foreigners? Where are their stories?

Thanks to people like William Still, slave narratives have been preserved in books and sketches. And ... thanks to the Library of Congress and the U.S. National Archives ... some of their stories have been digitized and are available on-line.

Here, then, are slave voices speaking (and singing) to us from the past. 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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