Teaching Digital History

...using documents, images, maps and online tools

Slave Song Representation - Becoming Digital

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I used my Blackberry Storm to take a series of pictures at the Stagville Plantation in Durham. I focused primarily on this chimney because it was the original structure that was built by slaves between 1851 and 1860. The structures contains actual hand and footprints which were left in the clay when they dried in the sun (as represented by this snapshot -150 pixels). I took 60 photos. I wanted to created a photosynth which is why I captured the chimney from so many angles. However, the software was not compatible with my Mac. Therefore I decided to use IMovie. I had no experience with IMovie and after some trial and error I learned how to add effects, transitions, add some text and music. I went with an overall theme of the music and adjusted the slides so that they resembled an old movie. I focused the movie on slave songs particularly Wade in the Water and Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Both songs were rumored to be code songs that helped slaves escape through the Underground Rail Road. Many slaves could not read or write and therefore coping mechanisms were passed down through oral traditions.

I attempted to publish the video and I was unable to get it to show up. I had to go back into IMovie and "learn" how to share the video on a web browser. I shared the video on youtube and embedded the code. The video is in HD mode and therefore the pixel size is 1280x720.

Update: I could not upload that file. I had to change the size to 480x272 and reload it to youtube then embed the file.

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