|Creator:||United States. Work Projects Administration. Georgia.|
|Title:||Ex-slave interviews WPA|
|Quantity:||1.6 Linear feet (4 document boxes)|
|Abstract:||The collection consists of depositions of interviews with former slaves. These papers first arrived in Georgiana with the closing of the WPA in 1941. The records in each WPA office were distributed to various state libraries including these surveys of African Americans living during the 1930s who had been born into slavery. The collection is arranged alphabetically by interviewee. Each deposition recounts some aspect of slave life and the collection is full of anecdotes, folk-lore, authentic oral history and other miscellaneous information. Box 1, folder 1 contains information concerning the organization and design of the original interview structure.|
"The Works Progress Administration (renamed during 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and Western populations. Expenditures from 1936 to 1939 totaled nearly $7 billion. The budget at the outset of the WPA in 1935 was 1.4 billion dollars. It provided work for three million "employables" at this time, however there were an estimated 10 million unemployed persons at this time. By 1943, the total amount spent was over $11 billion."
Source: "Works Progress Administration." Wikipedia.
These interviews have been published and are available via the World Wide Web at the Library of Congress's American Memory site: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html.
Ex-slave interviews WPA. MS 916. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.