Author: Georgina Giwbs


“Interview of Mrs. Georgina Giwbs, ex-slave” (1937)

Georgina Giwbs, a former slave, tells an interviewer from the Virginia Writers Project in 1937 about her life as a slave, including descriptions of clothing, food, marriage practices, and folk beliefs. This interview, along with other Virginia Writers Project interviews, offer a composite portrait of interviewees’ self-styled personal stories. Interviewers’ interests, lived experiences, and editing choices, as well as their social relations and expectations shaped their relationship and conversation with the interviewees. Although the interviews aren’t unmediated autobiographies, they are no less authentic and are just as fruitful a source for reconstructing historical experience.