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Wanda Bennett
Wanda Bennett • 50 weeks ago

"CAKEWALK" | It's origins in slavery, the cakewalk mocked the rich folks in the "Big House," and southern high-society. Bowing, bending and a high-stepping promenade were characteristic of the dance. In many instances the Cakewalk was performance, and even competition. The dance would be held at the master’s house on the plantation and he would serve as judge. The dance’s name comes from the cake that would be awarded to the winning couple.

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LOUIS FOWLER, 84, was BORN A SLAVE to Robert Beaver, in Macon Co., Georgia. Fowler did not take his father's name, but that of his stepfather...'bout my pappy, I lets you judge. Look at my hair. De color am red, ain't it? My beard am red and my eyes is brown and my skin am light yellow. Now, who does you think my pappy was? You don't know, of course, but I knows, 'cause on dat plantation am a man dat am over six feet tall and his hair as red as a brick." (Texas Slave Narratives 1937)

SPENCE JOHNSON was born Free, a member ot the Choctaw Nation, in the Indian Territory, ca.,1850's. | "Marse Riley Surratt had a big plantation, Mammy cooked for 'em. When Marse Riley bought her, she couldn' speak nothin' but de Choctaw words. I was a baby when us lef' de Choctaw country. My sister looked like a full blood Choctaw Indian and she could pass for a real full blood Indian. Mammy's folks was all Choctaw Indians." (ca. 1936-1938 Federal Writers Project)

Born in Slavery:Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’Project,1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives:A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.