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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Serena Henderson Parker, April 13, 1995. Interview Q-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Remembering a clever father and a devout mother

Parker remembers her mother and father: her father did figures in his head and her mother read from her Bible.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Serena Henderson Parker, April 13, 1995. Interview Q-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

EDDIE McCOY:
Were your father proud of y'all going to college and getting a degree?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-huh. I just think he was proud just than the families now. Because he had to work so hard.
EDDIE McCOY:
Whatever you did, he supported you?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-hum.
EDDIE McCOY:
You always had support from the family?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-hum.
EDDIE McCOY:
Yeah, that helped a whole lot.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Yeah.
EDDIE McCOY:
It did, it really did.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Sure did.
EDDIE McCOY:
All right, and he could take care of his own business. He didn't need nobody?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-uh. No, he didn't have anybody show him how. He used to make feel me so ashamed. He'd say, "Now, I'm going to have some of that and some of that. And I'm going to [give Robert] over there. Now, how many would that make to get or whatever?" And we'd be sitting there figuring. He'd say, "Oh, shoot! Y'all just go ahead." He'd figure it out and have it through before we started." And he could figure in his head better than we could with a pencil. And he'd take a pencil and he could figure like I don't know what. He could write and read and sit down and read that Bible out there in the sun with them glasses sitting on his nose. And Mama would read her Bible all the time. The Bible that I know, what I know about the Bible now is what my mama used to read stories to us. She'd call it—oh, Child's Bible Book. . And she would take that book at night and we'd go and get around her. After we got through with supper, we'd get on the floor and get around her and she would read them stories. All those stories she'd read. Oh, we had a time [TAPE SKIPS] . So I learned a whole lot about Bible stuff from her