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Slave Narrative of Allen V. Manning

Person Interviewed: Allen V. Manning Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Clarke County Mississippi Date of Birth: 1850 Age: 87 Occupation: Sells Milk I always been somewhar in the South, mostly in Texas when I was a young man, and of course us Negroes never got much of a show in court matters, but I reckon if I had of had the chance to set on a jury I would of made a mighty poor out at it. No sir. I jest can’t set in judgement on nobody, ’cause I learned when I was jest a little boy that good people and bad people, makes no difference which, jest keep on living and doing like they been taught, and I jest can’t seen to blame them none for what they do iffen they been taught that way. I was born in slavery, and I belonged to a Baptist preacher. Until I was fifteen years old I was taught that I was his own chattel-property, and he could do with me like he wanted to, but he had been taught that way too, and we both believed it. I never did hold nothing against him for being hard on Negroes sometimes, and I don’t think I ever would of had any trouble even if I had of growed up and died in slavery. The young Negroes don’t know nothing ’bout that today, and lots of them are rising up and amounting to something, and all us Negroes is proud of them. You see, it’s because they been taught that they got as good a show to be something as anybody,...

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