The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography - Vol. 5

By George P. Rawick | Go to book overview
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Major, Lettie, P. W. 7-11-37
Wichita Falls, Wichita

Mother Goodman

"My name is Ellen Goodman. I come here from Tyler, Texas. I was born in Georgia. I was sold with my mammy when I was a sucking baby so I don't 'member nuffin' 'bout it. How old is I? You wants me to tell de troof (truth), doesn't you? I'll tell de troof befo de Lawd, I doesn't know how old I is, but I'se not far from one hundred. I doesn't know one letter from another. De Lawd never intended me to know nuffin'. I was cut off de pension 'case I went to see my son, but de Lawd won't let me starve. I aint scared to ask any white folks for something to eat.

"A white man runned over me with a car when I was goin' into my church. The Church of God in Christ is my 'ligion. I was tendin' my Lawd's business when de white man runned over me and breaked my leg. He give me twenty-five dollars and a lawyer promised me more but I aint never seed him no more.

"Th' was seven families on de plantation. We didn't have no dances. I had done got 'ligion so I didn't dance none till I was freed. We use to play Sunday evenings in de yard when it wasn't my time to mind de white folk's chilluns.

"I use to help wash and card and spin -- I'd spin my six cuts every day. Then between times I had to tote buckets of water. Wunst (once) when I was totin' water on my haid a pet deer runned after me. I runned 'bout fo'th of a mile and never spilled nary

-1530-

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