Alice Rivers

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Alice Rivers

W. 17th, Highland Addition, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 81

"Yes'm, I remember when the Yankees come. I ricollect when they throwed

out all the meat from old master's smokehouse. The colored folks was

tryin' to ketch it and I know I tried to ketch it too.

"Don't I look like I been here in Reb. time? I was born in Mississippi

on Colonel Reed's place in 1857.

"I just know the Yankees come through. Had on blue coats with gold

lookin' buttons. I never will forget it 'cause it was so frightening.

"I can ricollect way back there.

"I don't know whether the white folks was good or not, we hardly ever

saw 'em. Had a old woman that cooked for the chillun at the quarters.

I ricollect they had a big old kittle and she'd cook that full of

somethin'. I know the old lady give us plenty of somethin' to eat.

"All the white folks didn't treat their hands mean. Some of 'em was a

fool 'bout them little niggers.

"Old woman what cooked for the chillun was old Aunt Henie and she walked

half bent with a stick.

"I went to school some after freedom. Learned how to spell and read but

not much writin'.

"I can't tell you 'bout no whippin's 'cause if they whipped the folks

they didn't do it at the quarters where the chillun was.

"I been farmin' all my life till I come to Arkansas in 1916. Since then

I first cooked and washed. I ain't worked out in three years now.

"I gets a little pension from the Welfare and I make out on that. My

granddaughter lives with me. She will finish high school in May and then

she can take care of herself.

"I used to own this place but it was sold for taxes. Don't make any

difference if you is as old as Methuselah you got to pay them taxes. Old

Caeser started 'em and we've had to pay 'em ever since.

"Younger generation ain't mannerly now like they was when I was young.

Chillun used to be obedient but they got to have their way now. Old

folks done put the chillun where they is now and they ought to take care

of 'em.

"I don't know where the world gwine come to in the next five years. I

reckon they'll all be dead way they're gwine now. Storms takin' 'em away

here and war in them other countries."

Alice Lewis Allen Johnson facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail