Thousands of survivors of slavery recounted their lives to interviewers from the Federal Writers Project (FWP) in the late 1930s. The FWP was part of the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration, funded by Congress with the 1935 Emergency Relief Appropriations Act. This initiative employed writers, historians, and other scholars during the Great Depression to record the memories of formerly enslaved persons in seventeen states. Though edited and interpreted by the interviewers, these narratives—preserved by the Library of Congress—remain invaluable personal accounts of life in slavery.
Learn more about the Slave Narratives Project on the Library of Congress’s website by clicking here.