Katie Darling (TX): Massa...just put 'em together. What he want am the stock.
Martha Jackson (AL): My aunt was a breeder woman and brought in a child ev'y twelve months jus' like a cow bringin' in a calf.
Willie Williams: De master was anxious to raise good, big slaves, de kind what am able to do lots of work and ones he could sell for a heap of money.
Henry James Trentham (NC): Some of de women plowed barefooted most all de time, an' had to carry dat row an' keep up wid de men, an' den do deir cookin' at night.
Martha Bradley: I always worked in the field, had to carry big logs, had straps on my arms and them logs was put in de straps and hauled to a pile where they all was.
Mary Reynolds (LA): They brought the food and the water to the fields on a slide pulled by a old mule. Plenty times, there was only a half-barrel of water and it was stale and hot for all the slaves on the hottest days. Most of the time, we ate pickled pork, cornbread, peas, beans and 'taters. There never was as much as we needed.
Florence Napier: [On this plantation:] All of us had plenty to eat. Master use to say de colored folks raised de food and dey's entitled to all dey wants.
William Mathews (LA): De clothes we wore was made out of dyed lowerings. Dat's de stuff dey makes sacks out of.
Cato Carter (AL): They was always good to me 'cause I was one of their blood. I did have plenty fine clothes, good woolen suits they spinned on the place, doeskins, and fine linens.
Isaam Morgan (AL): What we do after we finished work? Go to bed! Us was so tired us wouldn't lie down two minutes before us was 'sleep.
More quotes: iwasaslave.com
"Black History Month is complete only when the words of the first African Americans are included," Howell explains. "Yet, they rarely are mentioned. Perhaps by truly absorbing the words of America's enslaved ancestors, each reader will learn what really happened, will realize why the effects linger today, and will use that understanding to design one united nation."