Perry, Dinah (2nd interview)
The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person interviewed: Dinah Perry 1002 Indiana, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Age: 78 [TR: Appears to be same as last informant despite different address.]
"I'se bawn in Alabama and brought here to Arkansas a baby. I couldn't tell what year I was bawn 'cause I was a baby. A chile can't tell what year he was bawn 'less they tells him and they sure didn't tell me.
"When I'd wake up in the mawnin' my mother would be gone to the field.
"Some things I can remember good but you know old folks didn't 'low chillun to stand around when they was talkin' in dem days. They had to go play. They had to be mighty particular or they'd get a whippin'.
"Chillun was better in them days 'cause the old folks was strict on 'em. Chillun is raisin' theirselves today.
"I 'member one song they used to sing
'We'll land over shore We'll land over shore; And we'll live forever more.' "They called it a hymn. They'd sing it in church, then they'd all get to shoutin'.
"Superstitions? Well, I seen a engineer goin' to work the other day and a black cat run in front of him, and he went back 'cause he said he would have a wreck with his train if he didn't. So you see, the white folks believes in things like that too.
"I never was any hand to play any games 'cept 'Chick. Chick.' You'd ketch 'hold a hands and ring up. Had one outside was the hawk and some inside was the hen and chickens. The old mother hen would say
'Chick-a-ma, chick-a-ma, craney crow, Went to the well to wash my toe; When I come back my chicken was gone, What time is it, old witch?' One chicken was s'posed to get out and then the hawk would try to ketch him.
"We was more 'ligious than the chillun nowadays. We used to play preachin' and baptisin'. We'd put 'em down in the water and souse 'em and we'd shout just like the old folk. Yes ma'am."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives