Fannie Clemons

Interviewer: Pernella Anderson

Person Interviewed: Fannie Clemons

940 N. Washington

El Dorado, Ark.

Age: 78

"I was born down in Farmerville, Louisiana in the year of 1860. Now my

ma lived with some white people, but now the name of the people I do not

know. You see, child, I am old and I can't recollect so good. I didn't

know my pa cause my ma quit him when I was little. My ma said she worked

hard in the field like a black stepchild. My ma had nine chilluns and I

was the oldest of the nine. She said her old miss wouldn't let her come

to the house to nurse me, so she would slip up under the house and crawl

through a hole in the floor. She took and pulled a plank up so she could

slip through.

"I would drink any kind of water that I saw if I wanted a drink. If the

white folks poured out wash water and I wanted a drink that would do me.

It just made me fat and healthy. Most we played was tussling, and

couldn't no boy throw me. Nobody tried to whip me cause they couldn't.

"We always cooked on fireplaces and our cake was always molasses cakes.

At Christmas time we got candy and apples, but these oranges and bananas

and stuff like that wasn't out then. Bananas and oranges just been out a

few years. And sugar--we did not know about that. We always used sugar

from molasses. I don't think sugar been in session long. If it had I did

not get it.

"I got married when I was pretty old, I lived with my husband eight

years and he died. I had some children, but I stole them. The biggest

work I ever done was farm and we sure worked."

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