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Slave Narrative of Aunt Laura Bell

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Laura Bell Location: 2 Bragg Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 73 An interview with Laura Bell, 73 years old, of 2 Bragg Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Being informed that Laura Bell was an old slavery Negro, I went immediately to the little two-room shack with its fallen roof and shaky steps. As I approached the shack I noticed that the storm had done great damage to the chaney-berry tree in her yard, fallen limbs litterin’ the ground, which was an inch deep in garbage and water. The porch was littered with old planks and huge tubs and barrels of stagnant water. There was only room for one chair and in that sat a tall Negro woman clad in burlap bags and in her lap she held a small white flea-bitten dog which growled meaningly. When I reached the gate, which swings on one rusty hinge, she bade me come in and the Carolina Power and Light Company men, who were at work nearby, laughed as I climbed over the limbs and garbage and finally found room for one foot on the porch and one on the ground. “I wus borned in Mount Airy de year ‘fore de Yankees come, bein’ de fourth of five chilluns. My mammy an’ daddy Minerva Jane an’ Wesley ‘longed ter Mr. Mack Strickland an’ we lived on his big place near Mount Airy.” “Mr. Mack wus good ter us, dey said. He give us enough ter eat an’ plenty of time ter weave clothes fer us ter wear. I’ve hearn mammy tell of de corn shuckin’s an’ dances...

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