Griffin Myrax

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Griffin Myrax

913 Missouri Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age 77?

"I don't know my age exactly. You know in them days people didn't take

care of their ages like they do now. I couldn't give you any trace of

the war, but I do remember when the Ku Klux was runnin' around.

"Oh Lord, so much of the time I heard my mother talk about the slavery.

I was born in Oklahoma and my grandfather was a full-blooded Crete

Indian. He was very much of a man and lived to be one hundred thirty

years old. All Crete Indians named after some herb--that's what the name

Myrax means.

"I heard my mother say that in slavery times the man worked all day with

weights on their feet so when night come they take them off and their

feet feel so light they could outran the Ku Klux. Now I heard her tell


"My parents moved from Oklahoma to Texas and I went to school in

Marshall, Texas. All my schoolin' was in Texas--my people was tied up

there. My last schoolin' was in Buchanan, Texas. The professor told my

mother she would have to take me out of school for awhile, I studied too

hard. I treasured my books. When other children was out playin' I was


"There was some folks in that country that didn't get along so well. I

remember there was a blind woman that the folks sent something to eat by

another colored woman. But she eat it up and cooked a toadfrog for the

old blind woman. That didn't occur on our place but in the neighborhood.

When the people found it out they whipped her sufficient.

"When my grandfather died he didn't have a decayed tooth in his head.

They was worn off like a horse's teeth but he had all of them.

"I always followed sawmill work and after I left that I followed

railroading. I liked railroading. I more or less kept that in my view.

"About this slavery--I couldn't hardly pass my sentiments on it. The

world is so far gone, it would be the hardest thing to put the bridle on

some of the people that's runnin' wild now."

Green Willbanks Gus Bradshaw facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail