Slave Narrative of Kato Benton

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person Interviewed: Kato Benton
Age: 78
Location: Creed Taylor Place, Tamo Pike, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

“I was born in South Carolina before the War. I ain’t no baby. I wasn’t raised here. No ma’am.

“My daddy’s name was Chance Ayers and my mammy’s name was Mary Ayers. So I guess the white folks was named Ayers.

“White folks was good to us. Had plenty to eat, plenty to wear, plenty to drink. That was water. Didn’t have no whisky. Might a had some but they didn’t give us none.

“Oh, yes ma’am, I got plenty kin folks. Oh, yes ma’am, I wish I was back there but I can’t get back. I been here so long I likes Arkansas now.

“My mammy give me away after freedom and I ain’t seed her since. She give me to a colored man and I tell you he was a devil untied. He was so mean I run away to a white man’s house. But he come and got me and nearly beat me to death. Then I run away again and I ain’t seed him since.

“I had a hard time comin’ up in this world but I’m livin’ yet, somehow or other.

“I didn’t work in no field much. I washed and ironed and cleaned up the house for the white folks. Yes ma’am!

“No ma’am, I ain’t never been married in my life. I been ba’chin’. I get along so fine and nice without marryin’. I never did care anything ’bout that. I treat the women nice—speak to ‘em, but just let ‘em pass on by.

“I never went to school in my life. Never learned to read or write. If I had went to school, maybe I’d know more than I know now.

“These young folks comin’ on is pretty rough. I don’t have nothin’ to do with ‘em—they is too rough for me. They is a heap wuss than they was in my day—some of ‘em.

“I gets along pretty well. The Welfare gives me eight dollars a month.”



MLA Source Citation:

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 18 September 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/black-genealogy/slave-narrative-of-kato-benton.htm - Last updated on May 6th, 2012


Categories: , ,
Topics:
Locations: ,
Surnames: ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.