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PHOTO ESSAY

Slave Narratives

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Booker T. Washington, c. 1903.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

With emancipation, how people recounted their time as slaves changed dramatically, as did the conventions of the slave narrative. Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery (1901) is a prime example of the shift from discussing slavery as an institution to discussing the still rampant racism and inequality. He, like others, used the autobiographical and linear style of the slave narrative to describe his experiences but his message shifted to one of how African Americans had successfully emerged from slavery and how they could find strength in that struggle.

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