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Allen, Martha

No. Words 402 Editor Daisy Bailey Waitt

An interview with Martha Allen, 78, of 1318 South Person Street, Raleigh.

"I was borned in Craven County seventy eight years ago. My pappa was named Andrew Bryant an' my mammy was named Harriet. My brothers was John Franklin, Alfred, an' Andrew. I ain't had no sisters. I reckon dat we is what yo' call a general mixture case I am part Injun, part white, an' part nigger.

"My mammy belonged ter Tom Edward Gaskin an' she wuzn't half fed. De cook nussed de babies while she cooked, so dat de mammies could wuck in de fiel's ,an' all de mammies done was stick de babies in at de kitchen do' on dere way ter de fiel's. I'se hyard mammy say dat dey went ter wuck widout breakfast, an' dat when she put her baby in de kitchen she'd go by de slop bucket an' drink de slops from a long handled goard.

"De slave driver was bad as he could be, an' de slaves got awful beatin's.

"De young marster sorta wanted my mammy, but she tells him no, so he chunks a lightwood knot an' hits her on de haid wid it. Dese white mens what had babies by nigger wimmens was called 'Carpet Gitters'. My father's father was one o' dem.

"Yes mam, I'se mixed plenty case my mammy's grandmaw was Cherokee Injun.

"I doan know nothin' 'bout no war, case marster carried us ter Cedar Falls, near Durham an' dar's where.

"I 'members dat de Ku Klux uster go ter de Free Issues houses, strip all de family an' whup de ole folkses. Den dey dances wid de pretty yaller gals an' goes ter bed wid dem. Dat's what de Ku Klux was, a bunch of mean mens tryin' ter hab a good time.

"I'se wucked purty hard durin' y life an' I done my courtin' on a steer an' cart haulin' wood ter town ter sell. He was haulin' wood too on his wagin, an' he' beat me ter town so's dat he could help me off'n de wagin. I reckon dat dat was as good a way as any.

"I tries ter be a good christian but I'se got dis- gusted wid dese young upstart niggers what dances in de chu'ch. Dey says dat dey am truckin' an' dat de Bible ain't forbid hit, but I reckin dat I knows dancin' whar I sees hit.

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