Read the selections from Jacob Stroyer’s My Life in the South (first edition came out in 1879) by clicking on the Stroyer link above, and answer the questions that follow.
1. What did Stroyer not know about his family tree? How do you think that made him feel?
2. Develop (not merely list) three interpretations for why James Hay did only half his task.
3. What commentaries can you read between the lines of the story of Mr. Usom and Jack?
4. How did Stroyer’s parents advise him to deal with the whippings he received, and why did they give that advice? How do you think Stroyer felt about that advice?
5. Identify the passage in which the slaves figuratively wear a “mask” to hide their true thoughts. What was the purpose of this strategy?