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This War Ain't OverFighting the Civil War in New Deal America$
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Nina Silber

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469646541

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Slaves of the Depression

Slaves of the Depression

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 Slaves of the Depression
Source:
This War Ain't Over
Author(s):

Nina Silber

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646541.003.0004

The language of slavery reverberated over the course of the Depression, with many Americans describing their working and living conditions in these years as something akin to slavery. Yet the language of “white enslavement” assumed particular power in these years, especially for the way it spoke to the immediate and unexpected economic crisis experienced by white Americans. In contrast, black enslavement seemed quaint and far less troubling. This pattern was apparent in the dramas put on by the Federal Theatre, the interviews conducted by writers in the WPA with former slaves, and in Hollywood films like I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang; Judge Priest; and the Prisoner of Shark Island.

Keywords:   Slavery, Popular Front, Mike Gold, Federal Theatre Project, Federal Writers’ Project, Howard Koch, John Lomax, Sterling Brown, Hollywood, John Ford

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