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Table of contents: 1. Introduction 2. Federal Writers’ Project 3. The theme of slavery in the WPA interviews a. Interview with William Ballard b. Interviewing Walter Calloway c. Born in slavery: Mary Reynolds 4. Conclusion “Yes Lawd! I have been here so long I ain't forgot nothin'. I can remember things way back” Matilda Hatchett 1. Introduction Slavery has always been the most shocking phenomena of our world. Slavery, by itself seems very unnatural and provokes mixed feelings from the heart of each person. Some people are descendants of those who used to be slaves years ago. Some faced “slavery” even in the contemporary times. And some people just simply do not understand the possibility of one human being…show more content…
3.a. Interview with William Ballard The most impressive thing about the interviews in general and this interview in particular is the description of extremely different slave-master relations in different situations and different regions. It is an interview taken June 10, 1937. William Ballard was from Winnsboro in Fairfield County situated in South Caroline. He was born in a family with several other children. William Ballard belonged to Jim Aiken who was a large and famous landowner at Winnsboro. Jim Aiken was a very powerful man, as he owned the land on which the town itself was built. He also possessed seven huge plantations on which his slaves worked. Thought William Ballard’s master was a very powerful man he never treated his slaves brutally. His wife was very good for the slaves, too and actually took care about them. William recalls:”HE was good to us and give us plenty to eat, and good quarters to live in”. The only awful thing William could remember about is the treatment of the son of Jim Aiken - Dr. Aiken, who seemed to really enjoy whipping the slaves a lot, especially when his father was out. “Dr. Aiken whipped some of de niggers, lots. One time he whipped a slave for stealing when he did not”. William remembers being very devoted to his master, as he knew the terrible way that other masters treated their slaves. William never starved

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