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Fictional Slave Narrative

My name is Jeremiah Freeman, though I wasn't born to that name. I chose it after I found out we were freed in 1865. Originally, I was born in 1850 and named Jeremiah Mayerson because I was the property of the Mayersons, as were my Mammy and Daddy. They'd been sold to Massa Tom when they were little. Lucky for us, Massa Tom and Missus Helen believed in keeping families together as much as possible, at least until the children were grown and ready to make families of their own. Daddy said it was because we were worth more to them if we were healthy and content than if we were sick and sorrowful. , ,

Mammy was a God-fearing woman who worked up at the house, waiting on Missus Helen. She loved it when the colored preacher came to visit on Sundays. That was her special time, talking with the preacher about the Bible. Then there was the singing and dancing during and after the service. Whenever anything bad was going on, Mammy would say that she would pray on it for us. If it was real bad, then she would pray on it with the preacher. She'd often shake her head and say that the Lord works in mysterious ways. ,

Missus Helen took a special interest in Mammy and taught her to read and write, though some white folks didn't hold with that sort of thing. Mammy had done her best to teach us how to read and write as well, but she told us to not tell anyone as it might get us into trouble. Mammy loved reading her Bible, especially the Old Testament, and she wanted all of us know how to read it as well. ,

I had a pretty small family, three brothers and a sister. My older brothers, Moses and Levi, were big like my father and sold off to another plantation when I was around 10 years old. It wasn't too bad, they had been courting some girls at the other plantation. My younger brother, Abraham, was kind of sickly, but he had a winning way and ended up waiting on the folks at the house. My sister, Debra, was really pretty. Mammy had...

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