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Slave Narrative of Bert Luster

Person Interviewed: Bert Luster Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Watson County, Tennessee Date of Birth: 1853 Age: 85 I’ll be jest frank, I’m not for sho’ when I was born, but it was in 1853. Don’t know the month, but I was sho’ born in 1853 in Watson County, Tennessee. You see my father was owned by Master Luster and my mother was owned by Masters Joe and Bill Asterns (father and son). I can remember when Master Astern moved from Watson County, Tennessee he brought me and my mother with him to Barnum County Seat, Texas. Master Astern owned about twelve slaves, and dey was all Astern ‘cept Miriah Blmore’s son Jim. He owned ’bout five or six hundred acres of ground, and de slaves raised and shucked all de corn and picked all de cotton. De whites folks lived in a big double log house and we slaves lived in log cabins. Our white folks fed us darkies! We ate nearly ever’thing dey ate. Dey ate turkey, chickens, ducks, geese, fish and we killed beef. pork, rabbits and deer. Yes, and possums too. And whenever we killed beef we tanned the hide and dare was a white man who made shoes for de white folks and us darkies. I tell you I’m not gonna lie, den white folks was good to us darkies. We didn’t have no rean overseer. Master Astern and his son jest told us niggers what to do and we did it, but 50 miles away den niggers had a mean overseer, and dey called him “poor white trash”. “old whooser”, and...

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