Annotate/Short Answer

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Question Description

Annotate both stores and answer question for 1 of the stories

Questions are only for: Interview with Isom Moseley

1. What is the tone of the memoir? What tools/words/phrases does the author use to set the tone? Explain. (2 examples)

2. What details and images does the author use to tell the story and make it come alive? (3 examples) How do these details impact the story overall?

3. What lines of dialogue impact the story? Why are these lines effective? (2 examples)

4. Where does the author use internal details? How do these details impact the memoir? (2 examples)

5. What is the personal truth the author is conveying? What is the meaning the author intends?

6. How is the memoir honest? What makes it honest? Explain.

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Interview with Isom Moseley, Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1941 AUDIO Interview with Isom Moseley, Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1941 Isom Moseley:My name is Isom Moseley. Raised up in old time without a mother. My old master and mistress raised me. [child screaming in background which continues intermittently throughout the interview] My master was named L. M. My mistress was name B. M. Well, are you ready for me to talk? Robert Sonkin:Yeah, that's fine. Isom Moseley: And, uh, and uh, after, my mother was a house woman, and uh, after she died, my father was a field hand, and white folks kept me around the house to tote cool water. Houseboy like. And uh, they had two weavers weaving, had two looms running every day. Well you know I'd go out in the quarter to play with them childr, other children. And if I hurt one and they caught me, they would wear me out. Well the, the white folk told me, when they get at me, make it to the yard. Well sometime I'd go out there and get to playing, one would hit me, I'd get a brick [unintelligible] it to him and to the yard I made it. Don't nobody say nothing after that. And, uh, I, went on that-a-way and, uh, I never can, uh, my master was name L., you got that, and my, my mistress had a master name, a young master named L. M. He was a doctor. B. M., he was a farmer. F. M., he was a farmer. J. M., he was a farmer. Well, I had two mistress, B. M. and M. J. M. They was my mistress. And then, as I went on to tell you about, they made molasses way back then, and uh, they had no iron mills like they got. They made wood, the carpenters made wooden mills. And they'd grind that molasses and they had a vat, big kettle to make it in, you know, had [unintelligible] put the kettles on. And when that molasses was made, they had [poplar (?)] trough to pour that molasses in. No barrels at all. I never seed a barrel long [seen] then, nothing but troughs. And when you get your molasses made, they had plank to cover them troughs. [intelligible] Robert Sonkin:Uh, you told me something about the way they made soap in the old days. Isom Moseley: Yes sir, I've explain that. Now I was large enough to tote water to the soap maker, put on ash hopper. They had a barrel, uh ??? . [tape gets stuck] Isom Moseley: You ready? Robert Sonkin:You were telling about the soap making. Isom Moseley:Huh? Robert Sonkin: You were talking about the soap. Isom Moseley:Now, now when I was a boy they used to make soap. Well I was large enough to tote water to the soap makers to put on ash hopper. Now they didn't have no barrels, they had boards, you know. And uh, them boards come in that-a-way, you know, that-a-way, boards was there. Well, all these here and you'd lay some crossway to hold the ashes. And then I'd tote water and put on that ash, ash hopper for the soap maker. Now he'd make soap for the whole plantation, and uh, make about two or three barrels. And along then captain, I ain't seen none, no bar soap. They might have had some but I never seen none. And uh, they uh, had, uh, something dug in the ground, hole, deep hole and board up on each side, it was plank. Well it was about three foot deep I reckon, as nigh as I can come at it, and about eight or ten foot long. Well, ??? tan leather. They'd lay a, lay a bark down in that hole, and then they'd lay, lay a hide over that bark. And then they would lay another layer of bark and another layer of hide, till they got it like they want. And then they'd fill that thing up with water. But now, now before they'd tan that, that leather, they had a place to put it in to get, lay a while and get the hair off it. And when they got done with that leather it's just like any tan leather, and they had a man there to make shoes for all us. Now we was children, good size children, going about, that shoemaker make shoes for we children. And the old folks too. We had mighty good white folks, my memory, far as I can remember, you know, mighty good, mighty good. You know they must have been good. After the country surrendered, didn't none move, more move there after surrender. More moved on the place. Robert Sonkin:What happened after the surrender? Isom Moseley:Sir? Robert Sonkin:What happened after the surrender? Isom Moseley:What happened? Robert Sonkin:Yeah. Isom Moseley: Well now, they tell me it was a, a year before the folks knowed that, uh, they was free. And when they found out they was free, they worked on shares, they tell me. Worked on shares, didn't rent no land, they worked on shares. Now you know I was a boy, I'm about explaining to the best of my understanding. They say they worked on shares. I think they said it was, was it fourth, or third I think. They got the third, I think they say, what they made,??? after surrender. Robert Sonkin:How many children do you have? Isom Moseley:Me? Robert Sonkin: Yeah. Isom Moseley:Ain't got, didn't have but one and it died. None but one and it died. Now we was living twenty mile this side of Selma, in Dallas. That where I was birthed, I weren't birthed down here. No sir, I weren't birthed down here. Robert Sonkin:How old were you when you came into Gee's Bend? Isom Moseley:How old I was? Seventeen year old. Seventeen year old and I come in the Bend here. A man here name, J. P. was here when I come, but the first owners of this place, that I don't know nothing about it but I heard the older peoples, M. P. Now uh, uh, C. Gee was the first owner. But that was ??? old man M.'s brother-in-law, tell me. Well, after old man Gee, M. took place, M. P. And then that's when I come here. They say his son, J. P., I don't know nothing about old man M. and C. Gee, but old man J. P., he was, he was a good man. He stayed here, I stayed here with him. Then he died, he been dead for forty some odd year. And uh, another thing about him. No, he had ten wage hands and uh, four plowers and, and six hoe hands. Never had a ride over them the whole time. Now he'd get up soon of a morning and ride around. Now uh, what we would be, the sun be a half hour high before you left home, he'd be in the field. That he would. And you know he'd make good crops. Now he'd go soon of a morning, about eight o'clock he done been all around to his renters and to his wage hands and making it out to the house. And late in the evening, he'd go back again. Now he had a colored man for his foreman and the old hands and a colored man head of the plowers. that's what [unintelligible]. Now he make plenty corn with them ten hands, and forty and fifty bales of cotton. And he never had no rider over them. Robert Sonkin:What's the government doing for you now ??? ? Isom Moseley:Sir? Robert Sonkin: What is the government doing for you now? Isom Moseley:For me? Robert Sonkin: Yeah. Isom Moseley:They give me clothes, something to eat, and giving me five dollars a month. They treating me all right. I don't find a bit of fault on it. Yeah, I got, I don't have to buy no clothes at all. Well I buy, they give me five dollars a month, I buy my uh, uh, flour. Well they give me some flour some time, and some sugar and coff, coffee, I'm a coffee drinker, and tobacco. I have that to buy, but clothes, things I don't buy that. Robert Sonkin: You're about eighty-five years, eighty-five now aren't you? Isom Moseley:Sir? Robert Sonkin: You're about eighty-five years old? Isom Moseley: Yes sir, eighty-five. And they treating me fine, I don't find a bit of fault on it. I ain't had no clothes to buy since I been on the project. And I've been on it I think, about nine, about eight or nine years I believe. [tape gets stuck] from TH E IN TE RE ST I NG N A RR AT IVE O F THE LIF E OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO 1 7 5 0S –––––––––––––––––––––– Olaudah Equiano ––––––––––––––––––––– As a young boy, Olaudah Equiano (1745?–1797) was captured by African slave traders and taken from his home in the West African kingdom of Benin. He was sent to Barbados, then to colonial Virginia, and then sold to a British naval officer. Equiano purchased his freedom in 1766 and became active in the British antislavery movement. He wrote and published his Narrative in 1789, at the height of the movement to abolish slavery in the British colonies. T H I N K T H R O U G H H I S T O R Y : Clarifying How does a personal account such as this one help historians analyze the past, and what, specifically, does Olaudah Equiano report that helps you to better understand his experience? –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast, was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor, and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror, when I was carried on board. I was immediately handled, and tossed up to see if I were sound, by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions, too, differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke (which was very different from any I had ever heard), united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed, such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. When I looked round the ship too, and saw a large furnace of copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate; and, quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. When I recovered a little, I found some black people about me, who I believed were some of those who had brought me on board, and had been receiving their pay; they talked to me in order to cheer me, but all in vain. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and long hair. They told me I was not, and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass; but, being afraid of him, I would not take it out 1 The Americans © McDougal Littell Inc. FROM T HE I NTERESTING N ARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO of his hand. One of the blacks, therefore, took it from him and gave it to me, and I took a little down my palate, which, instead of reviving me, as they thought it would, threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced, having never tasted any such liquor before. Soon after this, the blacks who brought me on board went off, and left me abandoned to despair. I now saw myself deprived of all chance of returning to my native country, or even the least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore, which I now considered as friendly; and I even wished for my former slavery in preference to my present situation, which was filled with horrors of every kind, still heightened by my ignorance of what I was to undergo. I was not long suffered to indulge my grief; I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life; so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench, and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, nor I had the least desire to taste anything. I now wished for the last friend, death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables; and, on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across, I think, the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely. I had never experienced anything of this kind before, and, although not being used to the water, I naturally feared the element the first time I saw it, yet, nevertheless, could I have got over the nettings, I would have jumped over the side, but I could not; and besides, the crew used to watch us very closely who were not chained down to the decks, lest we should leap into the water; and I have seen some of these poor African prisoners most severely cut, for attempting to do so, and hourly whipped for not eating. This indeed was often the case with myself. In a little time after, amongst the poor chained men, I found some of my own nation, which in a small degree gave ease to my mind. I inquired of these what was to be done with us? They gave me to understand, we were to be carried to these white people’s country to work for them. I then was a little revived, and thought, if it were no worse than working, my situation was not so desperate; but still I feared I should be put to death, the white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty; and this not only shown towards us blacks, but also to some of the whites themselves. One white man in particular I saw, when we were permitted to be on deck, flogged so unmercifully with a large rope near the foremast, that he died in consequence of it; and they tossed him over the side as they would have done a brute. This made me fear these people the more; and I expected nothing less than to be treated in the same manner. I could not help expressing my fears and apprehensions to some of my countrymen; I asked them if these people had no country, but lived in this hollow place (the ship)? They told me they did not, but came from a distant one. “Then,” said I, “how comes it in all our country we never heard of them?” They told me because they lived so very far off. I then asked where were their 2 The Americans © McDougal Littell Inc. FROM T HE I NTERESTING N ARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO women? had they any like themselves? I was told they had. “And why,” said I, “do we not see them?” They answered, because they were left behind. I asked how the vessel could go? They told me they could not tell; but that there was cloth put upon the masts by the help of the ropes I saw, and then the vessel went on; and the white men had some spell or magic they put in the water when they liked, in order to stop the vessel. I was exceedingly amazed at this account, and really thought they were spirits. I therefore wished much to be from amongst them, for I expected they would sacrifice me; but my wishes were in vain—for we were so quartered that it was impossible for any of us to make our escape. ... At last, when the ship we were in, had got in all her cargo, they made ready with many fearful noises, and we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ship’s cargo were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died. ...This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains. ...The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable. Happily perhaps, for myself, I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck; and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions, some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death, which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. ... One day they had taken a number of fishes; and when they had killed and satisfied themselves with as many as they thought fit, to our astonishment who were on deck, rather than give any of them to us to eat, as we expected, they tossed the remaining fish into the sea again, although we begged and prayed for some as well as we could, but in vain; and some of my countrymen, being pressed by hunger, took an opportunity, when they thought no one saw them, of trying to get a little privately; but they were discovered, and the attempt procured them some very severe floggings. One day, when we had a smooth sea and moderate wind, two of my wearied countrymen who were chained together (I was near them at the time), preferring death to such a life of misery, somehow made through the nettings and jumped into the sea; immediately, another quite dejected fellow, who, on account of his illness, was suffered to be out of irons, also followed their example; and I believe many more would very 3 The Americans © McDougal Littell Inc. FROM T HE I NTERESTING N ARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO soon have done the same, if they had not been prevented by the ship’s crew, who were instantly alarmed. ... We were not many days in the merchant’s custody, before we were sold after their usual manner, which is this: On a signal given (as the beat of a drum), the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined, and make choice of that parcel they like best. The noise and clamor with which this is attended, and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers, serve not a little to increase the apprehension of terrified Africans, who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of them never to see each other again. I remember, in the vessel in which I was brought over, in the men’s apartment, there were several brothers, who, in the sale, were sold in different lots; and it was very moving on this occasion, to see and hear their cries at parting. O ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you—Learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends, to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice? Are the dearest friends and relations now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred, still to be parted from each other, and thus prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery, with the small comfort of being together, and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely, this is a new refinement in cruelty, which . ...thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery. Source: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano. Reprinted in Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade, edited by Philip D. Curtin (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967). 4 The Americans © McDougal Littell Inc. ...
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School: University of Virginia


Running head: ANNOTATION



Part 1
Bailey, G., Maynor, N., & Cukor-Avila, P. (Eds.). (1991). The emergence of Black English:
Text and commentary (Vol. 8). John Benjamins Publishing.
Bailey and Cukor the authors of this book tries to explain how they felt after they got the
recordings from former slaves. Their thought was that they would be able to solve many
questions that were unanswered. But this was not the case they instead got more questions than
answers. Having the audios in the public domain has made people ignore some of the questions.
The authors try to confront those questions and try to bring in a better perspective. Bailey and
Cukor provide scholars with a set of recordings which serves as a guide. The creation of this
particular text is an imperative act whic...

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