Slave Narratives in History and the Law
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Slavery in America | Explore Black History

Slavery in America | Explore Black History | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
Revisit America's arduous journey through slavery with this special collection of videos and web-exclusive features by trusted producers across PBS.
Tina Burchette's insight:

I've been scooping specific tidbits from this page so I figured I should just add the whole page since it is so useful. The information is relatively vague and the videos are short but it gives really good background information that could lead to some pretty interesting research questions on the topic.

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Watch now: American Experience | Uncle Tom's Cabin | PBS Video

Harriet Beecher Stowe writes the most popular and influential book in American history.
Tina Burchette's insight:

This video is interesting in several ways. First of all, it talks about Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is probably one of the most popular "slave narratives" in existence. One interesting thing to mention about it though is that it was not written by a slave, it was written by a woman. This causes us to question the framing of the novel and to wonder just how much of what she is saying is true, or maybe if any parts are exaggerated or toned down for the audience. On the other hand, maybe the only other person who could have written a slave narrative is a woman, since they did not have many rights at the time either. Again, though, it is important to remember that attempting to catpure emotions and pains about an event such as slavery when you're not in the inferior position may be a hard thing to do.

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Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Living | PBS

Tina Burchette's insight:

A great primary source that comes directly from a slave. I only looked at two pages of it and it seems pretty innocent. Obviously if this is an account book the slave would not put any information in there that would be accusatory since the master would see this. We do know though that some slaves clearly could read and write and if they could they would be given jobs like this one.

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Lee: The memory of slavery - UI The Daily Iowan

Lee: The memory of slavery
UI The Daily Iowan
The independent film 12 Years A Slave, the story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, premièred in select cities Oct. 18.
Tina Burchette's insight:

In relation to the article I scooped about "12 Years a Slave", this article uses the premiere of the movie to address the problem in the United States of ignoring/glossing over the fact that slavery and Native American genocide occurred in our country. We treat them as if they no longer affect us, when in reality we still see the effects. There is still discrimination, there is still a racial heirarchy. In this case I think we need to hear more slave narratives that tell the difficult stories, the ones we don't necessarily want to hear.

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At Historic Homes, Unearthing a Deeper View of Slavery - New York Times

At Historic Homes, Unearthing a Deeper View of Slavery - New York Times | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
New York Times At Historic Homes, Unearthing a Deeper View of Slavery New York Times It's also part of a larger story about how historic house museums are learning more about figures in their pasts, like slaves and domestic workers, whose stories,...
Tina Burchette's insight:

Even now, many years after slavery has ended and civil rights for blacks have come into existence, it is evident that we haven't collected a lot of physical evidence of the lives led by individual slaves. This article speaks about a different kind of narrative -- one discovered by physical anthropological evidence, rather than a memoir or some written form. Here we have physical artifacts that tell their own story about slave life. The only issue is that we may interpret the artifacts in an incorrect way, making up our own frame of what we thought life would have been like.

 

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The Tricky Questions Raised by a Complicated Genre: The Slave Narrative

The Tricky Questions Raised by a Complicated Genre: The Slave Narrative | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
In her New York Times review of 12 Years a Slave, Manohla Dargis praises director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley for defying Hollywood’s dishonest approach to slavery: “It may be the [movie] that finally makes it impossible for American...
Tina Burchette's insight:

This article has raised questions for me about personal narratives and their relationship to history and perhaps on another level, the law. This specific article mentions several other first-person slave narratives beyond "Twelve Years a Slave", which will be interesting to look into. This topic comes on the heels of a short essay analyzing Plessy v. Ferguson in relation to a critical essay by Richard Weisburg on Poethics in law. There is potential here.

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Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Religion | PBS

Tina Burchette's insight:

An interesting little interactive web page on slave religious artifacts discovered from this time. It is clear that the slaves drew upon mmultiple religions to create their own special religion. This kind of thing would be extremely important to a slave narrative, as no one but those participating would understand the religion. Maybe this was the point: another way to keep one's autonomy in the face of slavery.

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Watch now: American Experience | The Dred Scott Decision | PBS Video

The Dred Scott decision had the potential to legalize slavery everywhere in the U.S.
Tina Burchette's insight:

This video talks specifically (though briefly) about the Dred Scott case and its effect on the strength of slavery during this time. One historian in the video mentions an interesting concept: one of a pro-slavery conspiracy that involved all the people that slavery was essential to. Those people would have been rich and powerful and therefore would take precedence over justice in the name of money and power. This is an interesting perspective to add to the slave narrative.

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Julia Kay's curator insight, October 27, 2013 9:37 PM

We talked about how Dredd Scott and how it set things up for the progression that led to Pudd'nhead Wilson and Plessy. Good to have for historical background and will allow me to look back further than Plessy in order to see how this whole ordeal played out.

 
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Slavery and Social Death — Orlando Patterson | Harvard University Press

Slavery and Social Death — Orlando Patterson | Harvard University Press | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
This is the first full-scale comparative study of the nature of slavery.
Tina Burchette's insight:

This book could be extreme helpful in seeing the social effects of slavery, particularly the slavery we saw in the United States during the pre-Civil War era. This would be more closely aligned with viewing slavery from a more human perspective. We would be able to see the effects of slavery and what it does to a person psychologically and socially, rather than speak of slavery in terms of numbers.

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Kevin Bales presents “Unlocking the Science of Slavery” - The Collegian — University of Richmond

Kevin Bales presents “Unlocking the Science of Slavery” - The Collegian — University of Richmond | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
Kevin Bales presents “Unlocking the Science of Slavery” The Collegian — University of Richmond Modern-day slavery expert Kevin Bales told a group of University of Richmond community members that by unlocking the science of slavery, they too can be...
Tina Burchette's insight:

The idea of learning about slavery in terms of science is interesting and possibly problematic. Though this article talks about  modern-day slavery, measuring something very personal and humanistic in terms of science and numbers somewhat desensitizes the issue. Maybe it informs the reader that slavery still exists, but it doesn't go beyond its existence to the crux of the issue: why is there still slavery and what does it mean/do in terms of societal structures that inform our lives?

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Local court interpreters speak more than language of the law | Aspen Daily News Online

Local court interpreters speak more than language of the law | Aspen Daily News Online | Slave Narratives in History and the Law | Scoop.it
In a court of law, with life, liberty and property so often on the line, words matter. So what if you don’t understand them?
Tina Burchette's insight:

This article speaks to a very specific place and time, but the overarching idea of being able to understand what is going on in a courtroom can be expanded to many different times and places. I have no specific court cases in mind, but how would a court session have seemed to say, a slave or an ex-slave on trial? Would they have had enough education to be able to understand what was going on and what may have been happening to them? Beyond the fact that their rights were limited in the time after the Civil War, would they have been able to protect themselves in any way from "the law"? How would "the law" have used this ignorance to their advantage? Would the narrative of the ex-slave even be considered?

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