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Examples Of Slave Diaries

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#1 twinkle

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 08:41 AM

help please i have been asked to write a slave diary but don't know what one should look like can you show me an example of a real one so i know what to put in it ...thankyou

#2 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 12:03 PM

You don't need to see an example of a slave diary in order to do this work, 'twinkle'. In fact, few slaves received any sort of education so were unable to keep a daily record (or diary) of what their lives were like.

What you do need to do is to use your knowledge (from classwork?) about a typical slave's life and then use this to write entries in your imaginary diary.

You might choose to write about things that happened every day (eg. the work done at different times of year, the food you ate, the clothes you wore, the punishments you or other slaves received) as well as any sort of 'special events' (eg another slave running away, new slaves arriving at the plantation). Diaries tend to record people's feelings about things too so try to convey something of that in what you write.

I don't know what instructions your teacher has given you, but if this is an ordinary homework, rather than a major project, I would expect to see about 6-10 entries for different days in the year. Do remember that a diary is a personal record (you are the one writing things down) so you need to write in the first person (eg. "I went to the fields to pick cotton ....). What your teacher is looking for here is your ability to 'put yourself in the shoes' of someone who lived a very different life from yours.

If you are really stuck for ideas and information then you could try reading some of these Stories (or narratives) from men and women who had been slaves when they were younger. If you click on the names in blue you can read that person's story. These are written in the language of men and women from the southern USA so you may find the language a bit difficult, but their stories will provide you with lots of interesting details you might use in your own 'diary'.

I hope that helps.

#3 Miss Buxton

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 04:58 PM

More websites for you to read to gain an insight into the life of a slave:

accounts from Slaves



and also this page on the same site if your diary has to include 'the middle passage' ie the voyage across the Atlantic

Edited by Mrs Faithorn, 11 July 2004 - 07:31 PM.

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