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Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless: The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana

 
 
 
 
Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless: The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana
Author: Ronald L.Baker
ISBN 13: 9780253338037
ISBN 10: 253338034
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication Date: 2000
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 341
List Price: $14.95
 
 

Homeless, Friendless, and PennilessThe WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in IndianaRonald L. Baker

Lives of former slaves in their own words, published for the first time.

Based on a collection of interviews conducted in the late 1930s, Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless is an invaluable record of the lives and thoughts of former slaves who moved to Indiana after the Civil War and made significant contributions to the evolving patchwork of Hoosier culture.

The Indiana slave narratives provide a glimpse of slavery as remembered by those who experienced it, preserving insiders' views of a tragic chapter in American history. Though they were living in Indiana at the time of the interviews, these African Americans been enslaved in 11 different states from the Carolinas to Louisiana. The interviews deal with life and work on the plantation; the treatment of slaves; escaping from slavery; education, religion, and slave folklore; and recollections of the Civil War. Just as important, the interviews reveal how former slaves fared in Indiana after the Civil War and during the Depression. Some became ministers, a few became educators, and one became a physician; but many lived in poverty and survived on Christian faith and small government pensions.

Ronald L. Baker, Chairperson and Professor of English at Indiana State University, is author of many books, including Hoosier Folk Legends and From Needmore to Prosperity: Hoosier Place Names in Folklore and History (both from Indiana University Press. He is co-author of Indiana Place Names with Marvin Carmony and editor of The Folklore Historian, the journal of the Folklore and History Section of the American Folklore Society.