Author: Susan Kelly


“Folklore material from Upper Guinea” (1938)

Susan Kelly and Simon Stokes, both former slaves living in the Guinea section of Gloucester County, tell interviewers from the Virginia Writers Project about their experiences in 1938. 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.