Arzella Smallwood

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Arzella Smallwood

Hazen R.F.D., Green Grove, Arkansas

Age: 60 Doesn't know exact age

"I was born about eight miles from Williston, South Carolina. After

freedom my mother married Lee Ballinger and she had six children. He

died when I was real small. My mother was named Hester McCrary. Old

Master McCrary bought grandma and my mother in Virginia. One sister my

mother never did run across after freedom. She was older and sold to

other people. I think at freedom my mother left and I think grandma did

too. My grandpa was half Indian, but I never did see him to remember

what he looked like. Our young master is a doctor. He waited on my

mother before she died. Grandma was blind and she lived with us. Our

young master may still be living. Old mistress was named Sylvania and

she sent for my mother to come wait on her when she got sick to die. I

think they had pretty fair treatment there. My mother was to be a house

girl and cook. I think grandma was a cook and field woman both.

"I heard them say the white folks took them to church to learn to pray,

then they didn't allow them to pray for freedom. But I don't think they

wanted freedom. After they was set free they died up so scand'lous.

Grandma said they had to work harder. My mother brought a good price

because she was real light color and sharp to learn. She had six

children and we was all darker than she was a whole lots. She and

grandma was both good on giving advice. Seem like they could see how

things would turn out every time.

"I married a man with a roving nature. We come here. He left me, come

back for me to look after before he died. I married again. I left him.

He told me how I could do five washings a week and take care of us both.

I didn't aim to do it. I mighter got some washings but I didn't aim to

keep him.

"I get a little commodities along to help out. I'm picking berries now

twenty-five cents a gallon for the first picking. Fifteen and twenty

cents is the regular prices.

"I haven't got children and I don't know what they ought to do. I reckon

they do the best they can.

"Times is hard on me. It takes me all the time to make a living."

Arrie Binns Augustus Robinson facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail