Oral History And Its Issues Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: American History Type: Essay Paper: #31914897 Related Topics: Slave Narrative, Controversial Issues, Autobiography, African History

Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … historians know about slave experience? African slavery in America is one of the most controversial subjects that still spark a debate among the people. The historians over the years have interpreted different stories but a lot of the viewpoints of the writers have not been successful as they have not considered the systematic documented records of the people of that time. The historians mostly have taken into consideration the opinions and views of different people but they have neglected the testimonies provided by the victims. Narratives of the slaves are one important source of writing history that has been underestimated by the historians over the years. Many former slaves have written their autobiographies and recorded their narratives which have been an important source for the historians (Gibson 2015).

What difficulties exist for historians in recreating the slave past?

In American history, the act of freeing more than four million slaves is an important event, but it's also one of the events that cannot be told easily. In order to understand the triumphs and trials of the slaves, the historians need to take into consideration their


However the slaves at the time lived the lowest forms of life and a lot of them were not literate. The social reality of the slaves and the conditions that they lived in at that time has brought many difficulties to the historians in uncovering the point-of-view of the slaves (James and Mark n.d.). What evidence is available?

The slaves before the Civil War were not permitted to learn to write or read and a lot of laws were passed that forbade the African slaves to be literate; however all these laws were not effective. Some slaves who were drivers on the large plantations made way for themselves and they learned to read in hope that their bosses might send instructions to them. A lot of African preachers also knew how to read and write. Although the slaves did not keep any diaries or any record of it, the historians found enough evidence from the white peers (James and Mark n.d.).

How credible is that evidence? What are the issues presented by the evidence?

The historians for many years have relied on written evidences of the salves to come up with a story to tell. The written evidence is authoritative because it can be compared and passed on to be discussed with other experts. Written evidence provides a chance for the historians to open doors to other cultures and learn about their past.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Ebron, Paulla A. Beyond the Written Document: Looking for Africa in African-American Culture. n.d. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/freedom/1609-1865/essays/aaculture.htm (accessed september 30, 2015).

Gibson, Robert A. Slave Narratives: Black Autobiography in Nineteenth-Century America. 2015. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1985/5/85.05.02.x.html (accessed September 30, 2015).

James, Davidson West, and Hamilton Lytle Mark. The View From the Bottom Rail. n.d.

Making Sense of Oral History. n.d. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/mse/oral/what.html (accessed September 30, 2015).
Oral Traditions. n.d. http://science.jrank.org/pages/10523/Oral-Traditions-Oral-Traditions-Source-Method-Historical-Construction.html (accessed September 30, 2015).

Cite this Document:

"Oral History And Its Issues" (2015, September 30) Retrieved June 7, 2023, from

"Oral History And Its Issues" 30 September 2015. Web.7 June. 2023. <

"Oral History And Its Issues", 30 September 2015, Accessed.7 June. 2023,

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