From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Kentucky Slave Narratives

The memories of former Kentucky slaves were recorded as part of the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project, Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves - Kentucky Narratives, available full-text at Project Gutenberg.

Slave Narratives includes a brief glimpse of the lives of former slaves such as Lizzie Wood, who lived in the African American community  Duncantown in Garrard County; George Scruggs of Calloway County, a slave of racehorse owner Vol Scruggs; and Reverend John R. Cox of Boyd County, minister of the Catlettsburg A.M.E. Church and also the city's first African American truant officer.

For more see The Limitations of the Slave Narrative Collection, a Library of Congress website; How to Read a Slave Narrative, a TeacherServe website; Is the Greatest Collection of Slave Narratives Tainted by Racism? a website; D. J. Spindel, "Assessing Memory: Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives Reconsidered," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 27, no. 2 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 247-261; and J. Olney, "I Was Born: slave narratives. their status as autobiography and as literature," Callaloo, no. 20 (Winter, 1984), pp. 46-73.

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NKAA Source: The Journal of interdisciplinary history
NKAA Source: Callaloo (periodical)

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“Kentucky Slave Narratives,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-02-08 17:31:58