HBO's Unchained Memories: From Oral History to Slavery Memorial

Henstra, Sarah
March 2007
Issues in Writing;Spring/Summer2007, Vol. 17 Issue 1/2, p96
Academic Journal
The article examines the performance of an oral history archive in the documentary film "Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives." The film and the rising digitization of such archives were said to be driven by the desire to experience history viva voce. The use of famous African-American actors to read from the slave narratives live is cited as the most striking feature of the film. The article notes the treatment of oral histories in the film as a reliable and stable historical record. The film reportedly avoided direct commentary on race.


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