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http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html

Scott
Ann Arbor, MI



 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Joel Bresler <[log in to unmask]>
> Dear friends:
> 
> A recent book by Shane White and Graham White, "The Sounds of 
> Slavery: Discovering African American History through Songs, Sermons, 
> and Speech", attempts to analyze the sounds of American slave 
> culture. The accompanying CD includes 18 cuts, mostly dating from the 
> 1930s. The authors note that these selections are "about as close as 
> we are ever going to get" to sounds from slaves themselves. (p. xxii)
> 
> Given that recording technology had been around for decades by the 
> 1930s, is this true? Are any lister's aware of earlier recordings 
> that might shed light on the "field calls, work songs, sermons, and 
> other sounds and utterances of slaves on American plantations"?
> 
> Many thanks for your thoughts.
> 
> Joel
> 
>  From Booklist:
> 
> >With no recordings of slave songs and narratives, the authors have 
> >undertaken the difficult task of bringing to contemporary readers 
> >(and listeners, via the CD that accompanies the book) the sounds of 
> >American slave culture. The impressive work songs, spirituals, and 
> >prayers were compiled from tracks recorded in the 1930s by the Works 
> >Progress Administration. Drawing on WPA interviews with former 
> >slaves, slave narratives, and other historical documents from the 
> >1700s through the 1850s, the authors provide the context for the 
> >field calls, work songs, sermons, and other sounds and utterances of 
> >slaves on American plantations. The authors also focus on 
> >recollections of the wails of slaves being whipped, the barking of 
> >hounds hunting down runaways, and the keening of women losing their 
> >children to the slave block.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Joel Bresler
> Independent Researcher
> 250 E. Emerson Rd.
> Lexington, MA 02420
> USA
> 
> 781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
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