Joana Owens





Joana Owens:





The following is the life and traditions of Joana Owens, 520 E.

Breckinridge St., Louisville, Kentucky, an old negro mammy who was born

during slavery.



"My mother and father was slaves, and there was two children born to

them, my sister and me. We used to live at Hawesville, Kentucky, on the

Ohio River. My peoples name was Barr, and their masters name was Nolan

Barr. You know they all had to take their masters name in slave days.



I will never forget how mean old Master Nolan Barr was to us. I was

about fourteen years old and my sister was a little younger. We lived in

an old log cabin. The cracks was filled with mud. My Mother done the

housework for Master Barr's house. My father and sister and me had to

work in the fields. He had a big farm, and owned lots of slaves, and

when the old master got mad at his slaves for not working hard enough he

would tie them up by their thumbs and whip the male slaves till they

begged for mercy. He sure was a mean old man. I will never forget him as

long as I live. I don't know exactly how old I is, but I am close to

ninety now. After I growed up and married a man named Owens, we come

here to Louisville to live. That was a short while after the slaves was

freed. I can remember how me and my sister used to go down to the river

and watch the red hospital boats come in, bringing the wounded soldiers

in to be cared for, and me and sister would go long

singing--Nigger--Nigger--never die, if you want a chicken pie."





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