Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton and Cane Plantations

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton and Cane Plantations

Article excerpt

Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton and Cane Plantations. Edited by Lynette Ater Tanner. (Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, 2014. Pp. xxvi, 229. Paper, $9.95,978-0-89587-626-3.) In Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton and Cane Plantations, editor Lynette Ater Tanner has collected forty-two Federal Writers' Project interviews with former bondpeople to offer readers a glimpse into Louisiana's slavery days through the words of those who were enslaved. Importantly, this collection contains many interviews that are not easily accessible elsewhere. Most of the interviews Tanner selected exist neither in George P. Rawick's collection The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography (41 vols.; Westport, Conn., 1972-1979) nor in the Library of Congress's digital collection (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/). And because Louisiana had been both a French and a Spanish colony before becoming part of the United States, the slave experience there differed from that elsewhere in the antebellum South. For one, the Catholicism of France and Spain long influenced religion in Louisiana, an important counterpart to the history of Protestant African American religions in America. …

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