On Jordan's Stormy Banks

On Jordan's Stormy Banks


Personal Accounts of Slavery in Georgia

Editor Andrew Waters

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During the Great Depression, the Federal Writers’ Project engaged jobless writers and researchers to interview former slaves about their experiences in bondage. Most of the interviewees were by then in their eighties and nineties, and their memories were soon to be lost to history. The effort was a huge success, eventually encompassing more than two thousand interviews and ten thousand pages of material across seventeen states. This collection presents the personal narratives of twenty-eight former Georgia slaves. As editor Andrew Waters notes, the “two ends of the human perspective—terror and joy” are often evident within the same interviews, as the ex-slaves tell of the abuses they endured while they simultaneously yearn for younger, simpler days. The result is a complex mix of emotions spoken out of a dark past that must not be forgotten.

Andrew Waters is a writer and former editor. A native North Carolinian, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Honors in Creative Writing and received a graduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the executive director of the Spartanburg Area Conservancy in Spartanburg, SC.