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Strategies for survival : recollections of bondage in Antebellum Virginia / William Dusinberre.

By: Dusinberre, William, 1930-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Carter G. Woodson Institute series: Publisher: Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2009Description: 1 online resource (x, 251 pages) : maps.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780813928364; 0813928362.Subject(s): Slaves -- Virginia -- Biography | African Americans -- Virginia -- Interviews | Agent (Philosophy) -- Case studiesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Strategies for survival.DDC classification: 326/.0975509034 LOC classification: E445.V8 | D87 2009Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
pt. I. Alleviations -- Good mistresses and masters -- Mixed-race ancestry and long-term relationships -- Cities and industry -- pt. II. Offenses -- Family disruption -- Physical abuse -- Regimentation -- Contempt -- Deprivation -- pt. III. Responses -- Religion -- Dissidence -- Families -- The Black community -- Self-development -- pt. IV. Retrospect -- Oppression and self-determination.
Action note: digitized 2010 committed to preserveSummary: Strategies for Survival conveys the experience of bondage through the words of former slaves themselves. The interviews -- conducted in Virginia in 1937 by WPA interviewers -- are considered among the most valuable of the WPA interviews because in Virginia the interviewers were almost all African Americans; thus the interviewees almost certainly spoke more frankly than they would otherwise have done. Dusinberre uses the interviews to assess the strategies by which slaves sought to survive, despite the severe constrictions bondage imposed upon their lives. Religion and escape were common means of coping with the indignity of family disruption, contempt, and the harsh realities of slavery. However, while Dusinberre recognizes the creativity and variety of slaves' responses to oppression, he acknowledges the dispiriting realities of the limits of slave resistance and agency. - Publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
E445.V8 D87 2009 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt6wrmk7 Available ocn753976364

Includes bibliographical references and index.

pt. I. Alleviations -- Good mistresses and masters -- Mixed-race ancestry and long-term relationships -- Cities and industry -- pt. II. Offenses -- Family disruption -- Physical abuse -- Regimentation -- Contempt -- Deprivation -- pt. III. Responses -- Religion -- Dissidence -- Families -- The Black community -- Self-development -- pt. IV. Retrospect -- Oppression and self-determination.

Strategies for Survival conveys the experience of bondage through the words of former slaves themselves. The interviews -- conducted in Virginia in 1937 by WPA interviewers -- are considered among the most valuable of the WPA interviews because in Virginia the interviewers were almost all African Americans; thus the interviewees almost certainly spoke more frankly than they would otherwise have done. Dusinberre uses the interviews to assess the strategies by which slaves sought to survive, despite the severe constrictions bondage imposed upon their lives. Religion and escape were common means of coping with the indignity of family disruption, contempt, and the harsh realities of slavery. However, while Dusinberre recognizes the creativity and variety of slaves' responses to oppression, he acknowledges the dispiriting realities of the limits of slave resistance and agency. - Publisher.

Print version record.

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Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL

Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL

http://purl.oclc.org/DLF/benchrepro0212

digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Distinguished British historian of African American slavery Dusinberre (emer., Univ. of Warwick, UK) revisits more than 100 WPA Virginia Writers' Project oral history interviews and other records of former Virginia slaves' memories of bondage. He assesses their applicability to understanding slavery throughout the antebellum South, their merits, and the significance that blacks conducted over 90 percent of the interviews. First published in 1976, the Virginia interviews remain a staple among published primary sources. Dusinberre explains their method and then charts the interviews' value as documentation for 14 aspects of slave life, from the treatment accorded bondsmen by "Good Mistresses and Masters" to "Oppression and Self-Determination." He argues that unlike interviews conducted by whites, those administered by blacks elicited considerably more candor. Despite his celebration of the Virginia interviews as sources, Dusinberre identifies weaknesses. The brevity of the narratives, the youth of the interviewees when they were slaves, and their unreliability distort some accounts. Distinguishing "tradition" from first- and secondhand accounts and folklore and the projection of convictions backward from the 1930s to the 1850s also taint the interviews as sources. While Dusinberre probably overstates the typicality and reliability of the Virginia slave interviews, he correctly underscores slavery's brutality and the bondsmen's determination to survive. Summing Up: Recommended. For all levels/libraries. J. D. Smith University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>William Dusinberre, Reader in History, Emeritus, at the University of Warwick in England, is the author of Slavemaster President: The Double Career of James Polk, Henry Adams: The Myth of Failure (Virginia) and the award-winning Them Dark Days: Slavery in the American Rice Swamps. </p>

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