Approximately 4 million slaves were freed at the conclusion of the American Civil War. The stories of a few thousand have been passed on to future generations through word of mouth, diaries, letters, records, or written transcripts of interviews. Only 26 audio-recorded interviews of ex-slaves have been found, 23 of which are in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In this interview, 101-year-old Fountain Hughes recalls his boyhood as a slave, the Civil War, and life in the United States as an African American from the 1860s to the 1940s. About slavery, he tells the interviewer: "You wasn't no more than a dog to some of them in them days. You wasn't treated as good as they treat dogs now. But still I didn't like to talk about it. Because it makes, makes people feel bad you know. Uh, I, I could say a whole lot I don't like to say. And I won't say a whole lot more."
Interviewee: Hughes, Fountain
Interviewer: Norwood, Hermond
Place: North America; United States of America; Maryland; Baltimore; North America; United States of America; Virginia; Charlottesville
Institution: Library of Congress
Physical description: 10 inch reel, 78 revolutions per minute