Sarah Mann





Wilbur Ammon, Editor

George Conn, Writer

C.R. McLean, District Supervisor

June 16, 1937



Folklore

Summit County, District #9



SARAH MANN





Mrs. Mann places her birth sometime in 1861 during the first year of the

Civil War, on a plantation owned by Dick Belcher, about thirty miles

southwest of Richmond, Virginia.



Her father, Frederick Green, was owned by Belcher and her mother, Mandy

Booker, by Race Booker on an adjoining plantation. Her grandparents were

slaves of Race Booker.



After the slaves were freed she went with her parents to Clover Hill, a

small hamlet, where she worked out as a servant until she married

Beverly Mann. Rev. Mike Vason, a white minister, performed the ceremony

with, only her parents and a few friends present. At the close of the

ceremony, the preacher asked if they would "live together as Isaac and

Rebecca did." Upon receiving a satisfactory reply, he pronounced them

man and wife.



Mr. and Mrs. Mann were of a party of more than 100 ex-slaves who left

Richmond in 1880 for Silver Creek where Mr. Mann worked in the coal

mines. Two years later they moved to Wadsworth where their first child

was born.



In 1883 they came to Akron. Mr. Mann, working as laborer, was able to

purchase two houses on Furnace Street, the oldest and now one of the

poorer negro sections of the city. It is situated on a high bluff

overlooking the Little Cuyahoga River.



Today Mrs. Mann, her daughter, a son-in-law and one grandchild occupy

one of the houses. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Mann, but

only one is living. Mr. Mann, a deacon in the church, died three years

ago. Time has laid its heavy hand on her property. It is the average

home of colored people living in this section, two stories, small front

yeard, enclosed with wooden picket fence. A large coal stove in front

room furnishes heat. In recent years electricity has supplanted the

overhead oil lamp.



Most of the furnishings were purchased in early married life. They are

somewhat worn but arranged in orderly manner and are clean.



Mrs. Mann is tall and angular. Her hair is streaked with gray, her face

thin, with eyes and cheek bones dominating. With little or no southern

accent, she speaks freely of her family, but refrains from discussing

affairs of others of her race.



She is a firm believer in the Bible. It is apparent she strives to lead

a religious life according to her understanding. She is a member of the

Second Baptist Church since its organization in 1892.



Having passed her three score and ten years she is "ready to go when the

Lord calls her."





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