Sarah Gudger Audio Reenactment: Slave Narrative from the Federal Writers Project of 1938

Published 2013-03-15
Becky Stone brings the voice of former slave Sarah Gudger to life from the
Federal Writers Project Slave Narratives of 1937. Listen as she describes her personal experiences with her family, owners, slave speculators, the Civil War, thoughts on emancipation, and what life was like as a slave in Buncombe County.

This audio reenactment is part of the Forever Free: Slave Deeds of Buncombe County Exhibit. The Exhibit also features deeds and records showing the transactions of slaves as property, Last Will and Testaments of slave owners, and a video on slavery in Buncombe County.

Visit the exhibit:
Feb 1st - April 30th
at 35 Woodfin Street, Asheville NC

May 1st - July 31st
at Pack Memorial Library, Asheville NC

Watch the video here ::

Read the original transcript here ::…

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For more information about Buncombe County Government, visit

All Comments (21)
  • Now let's have a wedding on the plantation! /s obviously. Thank you for making this available to the uninformed and informed alike. She painted such mental images that really hit home. Thank goodness the historians of the time had the foresight to record the testimony of the slaves before they all passed away πŸ™πŸ™
  • jef
    i listened to this alone with noise cancelling headphones on...brought a tear to my eye. I love this. thank you for posting.
  • Chris Citizen
    Wow she lived during the Civil War, WWI, and WWII.
  • Alan Mintz
    So grateful for these re-enactments and to be able to hear these stories
  • Brida mc
    Marrianne Williamson is right. People need repair retrobutions these people suffered and the decendants need to Ask for this. Beautiful to hear the stories. Voices need to be heard. Xx
  • Tony DeanDriskell
    I don't mean to offend anybody by mentioning this comparison but its something that I never understood. The Jews in Europe suffered genocide at the hands of the Nazi's for 12 years resulting in World War 2. After WW2 when the world caught wind of the inhumane actions took against the Jews during the Holocaust. The world came together and pathed a road towards the existence of Israel. So basically what I'm saying is, for the 12 years of suffering that the Jews endured they received a WHOLE COUNTRY. Africans were sold into slavery to American colonists around 1492 and this lasted until around 1865. So close to 400 years total and 89 of them years were under the Established United States of America. When the world found out about the evil treatment to slaves and the fact that they were not even considered as human beings, the world did nothing. When looking at these two evil historical events side by side, (The Jews killed during the Holocaust which last 12 years & a estimated 6 million Jews murdered) & then ( Africans sold into slavery, losing all human rights which lasted 400 years & a estimated 60 million + Africans Murdered) How can anybody say that the world's reaction & outcomes to the two separate evil travesties is fair or even in the same ballpark as fair! __(((___The Jews suffered 12 years, lost 6 million people and the outcome was that the world basically gave them a country (Israel)___)))__ - *__(((___Africans were sold into slavery & suffered for 400 years, lost an estimated 60 million + people and the world ignored this and from the USA they received the thirteenth amendment and was released into a society that was mainly prejudice & hated them.___)))__ How is this justice? & How come nobody ever talks about this Modern Day Comparison ? (American Intermediary) I think that maybe waving African American's home property tax for four hundred years would be a good start to reparations ! (Israel wouldn't exist without the west's intervention, TRUE or False ? Who beside Jews benefited from Israel becoming a country?) (African slaves in the USA were not even treated with the decency or even with recognition that they were human beings in the USA for 400 years. When slaves were freed in the USA they were told good luck. GOOD LUCK catching up to the rest of society financially, GOOD LUCK catching up with the rest of society community wise, GOOD LUCK finding employment with the very little education and skills that slave owners allowed to them while held in slavery, GOOD LUCK SURVIVING IN AMERICA.
  • SMG Pikachu
    1816 to 1947 rest in peace Sarah gubger
  • sassymess
    My God this woman was 121 at the time of this interview?!?!
  • Mr Irrepressible
    They wouldn't even let her see her dying mother - what kind of monsters were those people?
  • specter290
    i thought ole miss was a good woman? if so, after her mammy died, why didn't she get to see her one last time?
  • 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    Oh! God! Why?
  • Zelda Pope
    Never tell where they came from in africa! Why!
  • Weiland IV
    I expect devilish men in this world, but am always horribly surprised at the women.
  • Merline Edward
    Evil folks,whose heaven for them were here on earth.Right now they are on the other side of Abraham's bosom,in hell. Luke 4 vs 16.