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Oral History Interview with Annie Bell Williams Cheatham, March 21, 1995. Interview Q-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Annie Bell Cheatham, an eighty-four-year-old black woman and a longtime resident of Oxford, North Carolina, talks about her childhood as the daughter of a sharecropper, the limited educational opportunities open to her, and the many, many stories of slavery that were passed down to her by older relatives. She gives short answers through much of the interview and her informal conversational style is reflective of her familiarity with her interviewer, James Eddie McCoy, a fellow Oxford resident. The most detailed parts of this interview have to do with the second- and third-hand slavery stories on which she was reared and how these served as life lessons for navigating North Carolina's racial geography.
    Excerpts
  • Rural life so dirty you bring an extra pair of shoes to church on Sunday
  • School far away and has few amenities for blacks in rural North Carolina
  • Sharecroppers help each other at harvest time
  • A slave fights to keep his identity even when made powerless by whites
  • Lynching Hill serves as reminder to blacks about violence of slavery times
  • A former slave remembers being sold and how he managed to keep his identity intact
  • Ex-slaves "sing on the pot" even after emancipation
  • White farm owner children treated black sharecropper children badly
  • Flour sacks served as dress material for poor black sharecroppers
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • African Americans--North Carolina--Social conditions
  • Granville County (N.C.)--Social conditions
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.