The Florida Slave

Interviews with Ex-Slaves

WPA Writers Project 1930s
and Testimony of Ex-Slaves

Joint Congressional Committee Jacksonville, 1871

By Stetson Kennedy © 2010

Florida Historical Society, 2010

The Florida Slave

This book, The Florida Slave, published by the Florida Historical Society Press, is the last project completed by author, activist, and folklorist Stetson Kennedy before his death on August 27, 2011. Although he did not live to see the book in print, he had finished his work on the manuscript and was very happy with the cover design. The book contains interviews with ex-slaves collected by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) FLoriuda Writers Project (FWP) in the 1930's as well as the testimony of es-slaves before the Joint Congressional Committees in Jacksonville from 1871. Stetson compiled and edited the text, and wrote a fascinating introduction and in insightful After-word. Like the best of stetsons work, The FLorida Slave not only preservers an important part of FLorida History and culture, it is an impassioned call for human rights ant the ethical treatment of all people.

Author and activist Stetson Kennedy was born in Jacksonville, Florida on October 5, 1916, and he died there on August 27, 2011. This book, The Florida Slave, was the last project he completed. Stetson Kennedy was a human rights activist and author of many books on Florida history and culture. He was head of the Florida Writers Project unit on folklore, oral history, and socio-ethnic studies between 1937 and 1942, resulting in the classic book Palmetto Country. Following World War II, Kennedy infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, and experience he detailed in the book The Klan Unmasked. In this newly compiled and edited work, Stetson Kennedy offers a fresh perspective on this collection of Florida slave narratives and their relevance to contemporary society.