Millie Taylor

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Millie Taylor

1418 Texas Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 78

"Yes'm, I was born in slavery times in Calhoun County, Mississippi.

"Bill Armstrong was my owner. He's been dead a long time.

"My folks stayed on there a good while.

"Pa said they was good to him but they wasn't good to my ma. I heered pa

say they beat her till she died. I don't remember a thing 'bout my ma.

"I heered 'em talk 'bout the Ku Klux. They kep' that in my hearin' so

much that I kep' that in my remembrance.

"I know when we stayed on the place pa said was old master's. Yes'm, I

sure 'members dat. I know we stayed there till pa married again.

"Bill Armstrong's wife made our clothes. I know we stayed right in the

yard with some more colored folks.

"Pa worked on the shares and rented too.

"I was twenty-four when I come from Mississippi here. I was married

then and had three chillun. But they all dead now. I stays here with my

grandson. I don't know what I'd do if it wasn't for him. I reckon I'd

just be knockin' around--no tellin'.

"I got another grandson lives in Marvell. I went there to visit and I

got so I couldn't walk, so my grandson carried me to the doctor. And he

just looked at me--he had been knowin' me so long. I said, 'Don't you

know me?' And he said, 'If you'd take off your hat I think I'd know

you.' And he said, 'Well, for the Lawd, if it ain't Millie Taylor!'

"I've always done farmin'. That's the way I was raised--farmin'. I just

looks at these folks in town and it seems funny to me to buy ever'thing

you need. Looks to me like they would rather raise it.

"Oh, Lawd, don't talk about this young race. It looks to me like they is

more heathe'nish. The Bible say they would be weaker and wiser but they

is just too wise for their own good. I just looks at 'em and I don't

know what to think about this young race. They is a few respects you and


"I seen things here in town I didn't think I'd ever see. Seems like the

people in the country act like they recognize you more.

"I has a good remembrance. Seems like I gets to studyin' 'bout it and it

just comes to me like ABC. I know pa used to talk and tell us things and

if I didn't believe it, I didn't give him no cross talk. But nowadays if

chillun don't believe what you say, they goin' try to show you a point.

"Yes ma'am, folks is livin' a fast life--white and colored.

"Looks like the old folks has worked long enough for the white folks

till they ought to have enough to live on."

Millie Simpkins Milly Henry facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail