“One day de oberseer, he blowed dat ‘konk’ an’ called all de niggers ter de   house an’ Old Marster tol’ us how we was free, an’ Old Missus cried an’   Marster said iffen we would stay wid him an’ finish de crop, he’d share it wid   all of us; an’ all de slaves stayed wid him an’ he treated us kind. Mammy   stayed dere ’bout four years an’ den she lef’.”

“I tuk up wid a black nigger man an’ followed him ter town ‘kase he tol’ me   dere was more money in de town dan in de country. But when I got ter town I   found I had ter work jes like I was in de country. We worked mighty hard an’   sometime we didn’ have ‘nough ter eat. Den afte’ while dat nigger lef’ me for   a nigger gal; den I had ter make my own livin‘.”


“When dey begin to talk o’ war to free us we didn’t know jis what to think as   we was tole fust one thing den another. All through de war days was hard times   fer everybody. We heard de guns firin’ an’ seed de soldiers a marchin’ an’   things took way from de plantation, sich as de meat an’ ho’ses an’ time us was   freed deir won’t nuthin’ left fer nobody but a hard time. When us was turnt   loose after de war us didn’t have since ‘nuf to take care or look after our   selves. Ole Marse had alwa’s done dat. Pa an’ Ma didn’t know which way to turn   an’ Ole Marse he homestead ’em a place an’ us moved on it.

“De bad days wont over wid. White folks an’ colored was all up-sot, everything   had jes’ been churned ’round. De Klu Klux Klan begin ter take a han’ an’ scare   us up.

“I married when I was a young gal an’ raised six chillun, three girls an’   three boys. Dey is all married an’ a farmin’.

“I likes to see my race a gittin’ an’ edification an’ wid advantages. Dey is   havin’ chances an’ I hopes to see ’em rise higher an’ higher, an’ live better.


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