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Oral History Interview with Serena Henderson Parker, April 13, 1995. Interview Q-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Serena Henderson Parker was born in the small town of Huntsville, North Carolina, in 1923, the daughter of a sharecropper who eventually bought his own farm. Never enslaved because of their light skin, Parker's grandparents and great grandparents, though rural farmers and laborers, were educated and literate; Parker herself was educated in segregated schools and began a teaching career in 1946. In this interview, Parker remembers her childhood in rural North Carolina; recalls her education in a one-room schoolhouse; reflects on her family history, which includes brushes with slavery; and describes her rural community. This interview will be particularly useful to researchers interested in the foodways and social lives of African Americans in early and mid-twentieth-century rural North Carolina.
  • Having a good time in a rural community
  • Used books at a segregated black school
  • Light skin protects African American ancestors from enslavement
  • An African American child saves herself from slavery
  • Parker's father and others are naturally gifted
  • Parker's mother runs the household
  • Remembering a clever father and a devout mother
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
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  • 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.