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US Black Heritage, Slave Narratives

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: black_heritage slavery
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Project:US Black Heritage

This page is for instructions on how to help create profiles from Freedman or Slave Narratives. Currently, the Federal Writer's Project Freedman Narratives are the focus, and more narratives will be added when these are complete.


Federal Writer's Project Freedman Narratives

Make your selection from this page: Link to the list of profiles needed for the WPA narratives

Click on the link above each chart to go to the narratives where that person can be found.

You can look at how other profiles have been created to get a clearer understanding by clicking on the underlined name in the first column of the charts for profiles already set up.

The photos are hard to find. There are 2300 interview narratives but only 500 photos, so not every profile will have a photo to attach. See the photos here.

Once you finish a profile or at least set up the basics, be sure to put the profile ID in the chart on the Freedman Narratives list. Just edit the chart that has the name you wrote up by putting the wikitree ID number in double brackets followed by a pipe then the full name on the profile, ex Carolyn Martin, just after the first bar ( or pipe) in the chart for that person's name.

Example Profile Set Up

Here’s an example first section of the biography you can start with:

[[Category:Colbert County, Alabama]] replace with correct info for your person
[[Category:Colbert County, Alabama, Slaves]] replace with correct info for your person
[[Category:US Black Heritage Project, Needs Profiles Created]] if it needs to have more known family created.
== Biography ==
{{African-American Sticker}}

_____ was a Freedman living in Tuscumbia, Alabama when interviewed at the age of __ in 1937 by the Federal Writers' Project for their Slave Narrative Project. The narratives are in the Library of Congress, and considered to be in the Public Domain. <ref>The Federal Writers' Project. Slave Narratives; A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, Washington, District of Columbia : The Library of Congress, 1941 (https://www.loc.gov/collections/slave-narratives-from-the-federal-writers-project-1936-to-1938/?fa=original-format:manuscript/mixed+material)</ref> <ref>Federal Writers' Project: Slave Narrative Project, Vol. 1, Alabama, Aarons-Young(https://www.loc.gov/resource/mesn.010/?sp=391&st=text) </ref> In his/her interview, he/she recalls life growing up as a slave.

The second reference will be replaced with the info for the particular person being written up.

You may also wish to add as a source:

  • A site that claims the Slave Narratives were sometimes altered by the interviewer, and/or government reviewers, and did not represent the true words of the enslaved person. [https://journals.openedition.org/orda/522?lang=en]

Important Links


Thank you to member Carolyn Martin who assisted with writing these instructions.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Emma MacBeath, US Black Heritage Project WikiTree, and Gene Ellison. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


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