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Program 9: Slavery/The South and Slave Culture

Donald L. Miller with Pauline Maier and Louis P. Masur

Introduction

Maier: You know, we for so long thought of slavery as a kind of monolithic institution. And we've really broken out of that. And we have to-- we have somehow in this program to get through the complexity of the institution.

Miller: An insidious institution becomes the foundation of a culture.

Miller: What makes the South-- is it land?

Maier: Well, they have a staple product. It's a plantation economy. It's a very different form of social organization.

Masur: Part of what we've learned about slavery is the notion of the slave family, the notion of a slave culture, and then a wave of studies that have demonstrated beyond any doubt the power of-- even within slavery-- for African-Americans to create a religion and a culture and a family. But then, did we go too far? I mean, have we forgotten that this is an institution of slavery? An institution of slave labor.

Miller: Today, on A Biography of America, "Slavery".



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