a rare example of the sort of craft one might find in the slave quarters of a plantation.In the slave culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, nothing but the barest essentials were given to slaves. Their clothing was of the cheapest, and most "practical" the slave owner could buy, and haberdashers carried what would be described as "slave clothing" and "slave shoes." Usually a slave was provided with one set of clothes; anything that was above and beyond these bare essentials had to be made or bought. In some cases where a slave was fortunate enough to be allowed to do some extra work for someone in their "spare time," enough money might be saved to buy cloth to make a shirt, or dress. Virtually everything that a slave family owned beyond what was given them by their master was made by them. This cradle was exhibited at the Schomburg Center's "Lest We Forget, The Triumph Over Slavery" (December--February, 2000) and illustrated in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's book, "Jubilee, the Emergence of an African American Culture," page 117. (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, (2003) It was on exhibit again at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C. in 2003.
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