Jane Reece

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Jane Reece

819 W. Ninth Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 85

"I know this--I'm 85. I was born in North Carolina.

"Oh, yes'm, I 'member the War.

"I'm three thousand miles from my home.

"Old John Blue (Belew?) was my white folks.

"I did have good white folks. Yes ma'am, I'll say that. Stayed there a

long time after we was sot free. They was good to us.

"My mother was the mother of twelve chillun--she was a fast breeder.

"I was the onliest girl and old missis was just wild about me. I had

good owners. I don't remember no hard treatment among 'em.

"I 'member she used to have me runnin' from house to house totin' a

little note. That's the reason I had such a good time. Heap of times I

slept up at the big house with old missis.

"I got a good memory. We was allowed to sing and pray. I know our white

folks was good that way. I'll say that for 'em. I won't go back on 'em.

"Our folks stayed right on there a long time.

"My father died three years after ever'thing had done got quiet and


"I left my husband back there and come here to Arkansas with my mother.

"The bigges' work I done--I used to be terrible 'bout cookin', washin'

and ironin', and field work. Ever'thing a man ever done I've done--cut

wood, cut down sprouts, barn brush--I've done ever'thing.

"Oh yes, I went to school a whole lot. Got so I could read. Used to

write too, but all that done left me.

"I'm gwine tell you the truth, lady. I don't know whether the folks is

better off free or not. They is better off in one way--they is free--but

this young race is the devil."

Jane Osbrook Jane Smith facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail