A dedicated group of volunteers is using 21st century technologies to bring ABHM back to life as a unique, cutting-edge, interactive, virtual museum. This costeffective online format makes ABHM available to people across this country and around the world who would otherwise have no access to its information and resources.
From the blues to zydeco, and jazz to hip-hop; from the slave-era spirituals about struggle and personal empowerment to the forefathers of rock & roll, America’s roots music is absolutely replete with the influence of the African-American community. So there is, quite possibly, no better way to celebrate African-American history month than by taking a look at the incredible music that has been contributed to the American story by African-American musicians and writers.
Been Here So Long - Selections from the WPA Slave Narratives
Journalists and other writers employed by the Federal Writers Project, part of the New Deal's Works Progress Administration (WPA), gathered the American Slave Narratives during 1936-1938. Over 2,000 interviews with ex-slaves were collected during these years of the Great Depression.
Black slavery in America usually evokes images of the antebellum South, but few realize that members of the Five Civilized Tribes--the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles--in Indian Territory, today's Oklahoma, also had slaves. Like their counterparts in the South, Indian slaveholders feared slave revolts. Those fears came true in 1842 when slaves in the Cherokee Nation made a daring dash for freedom.
The Stono Rebellion was the largest rebellion mounted by slaves against slave owners in colonial America. The Stono Rebellion's location was near the Stono River in South Carolina. The details of the 1739 event are uncertain, as documentation for the incident comes from only one firsthand report and several secondhand reports.
Violent conflicts between white colonists and black slaves were common in Saint-Domingue. Bands of runaway slaves, known as maroons (marrons), entrenched themselves in bastions in the colony's mountains and forests, from which they harried white-owned plantations both to secure provisions and weaponry and to avenge themselves against the inhabitants.
On November 23, 1733 slaves carrying bundles of wood were let into the fort at Coral Bay. Concealed in the wood were cane knives, which the rebels used to kill the half-asleep and surprised soldiers who were guarding the fort. One soldier, John Gabriel, escaped by hiding under his bed and running away when he had a chance. He was able to get to St. Thomas in a small boat and tell the story to Danish officials there.
The Louisiana revolt was led by a man named Charles, a laborer on the Deslonde plantation. The revolt began some 50 or so miles up river from New Orleans. On the evening of January 8, the insurrection spread to the Andry plantation some 35 miles from New Orleans. At about 8 P. M. [enslaved persons] led by Charles and his lieutenants overwhelmed their oppressors. Armed with cane knives, hoes, clubs and few guns, the insurgents marched down the River Road toward New Orleans. They declared themselves free and rallied behind the chants (“On to New Orleans!’) and (“Freedom or Death”).