Ira Foster

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Ira Foster

2000 W. Eureka Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 76

"I was born in slavery because when the people come back from the War I

was a pretty good sized yellin' boy when freedom come.

"I heerd 'em tellin' 'bout my young master comin' back from the War.

"Yes ma'am, I was sure born in Arkansas; I won't tell no lie 'bout that.

"My mother's old master was named Foster and after she married she

belonged to Hezekiah Bursey.

"She was born in Alabama and she said she was pretty badly treated.

"She was the cook and then she was the weaver and the spinner.

"I never have been to school. Never did learn nothin'. My father put me

to work soon as I was big enough.

"I always done farm work all my life till 'bout twenty years ago as near

as I can come at it. I went to saw millin' and I didn't do nothin' but

manufacture lumber. I worked for the Camden Lumber Company eighteen

years and never caused 'em a minute's trouble.

"If I just had enough to live on I wouldn't do a thing but just sit

around 'cause I think I done worked my share. Why, some of the white

folks say, 'Foster, you ought to have a pension of thirty or forty

dollars a month.' And I say, 'Why?' And they say, 'Cause you look just

like a darky that has worked hard in this world.'

"I suffers with the rheumatism in my right leg clear up and down. Seems

like sometimes I can't hardly get around."

Interview Of Miss Mary Jane Wilson Ira Foster facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail