Jenny Proctor A Former Slave Describes Celebrating European Holidays during Slavery

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The following quotes is that of a former slave name Jenny Proctor 87 years-old who was a slave from 1850-1865 in Alabama, and who shares her story being a slave during the holidays in America, who was interviewed at her home in San Angelo, Texas in 1937, by the Federal Writers Project.

“Ole Marster would kill a hog and give us a piece of poak [pork]. We though dat wuz sumpin.’ De way Christmas lasted wuz’ cordin’ to de big sweet gum back log what de slaves would cut and put in de fireplace. When dat burned out, de Christmas wuz over.”

Translation- “Old Master would kill a hog and give us a piece of pork. We thought that was something, and the way Christmas lasted was according to the big sweet gum back log what the slaves would cut and put in the fireplace. When that burned out, the Christmas was over.”

“We had a few little [children’s] games we play, like “Peep, Squirrel, Peep,” “You Can’t Ketch Me,” and sich like. We didn’ know nothin’ ’bout no New Year’s Day or holidays ‘cept Christmas.”

Translation- “We had a few little games we play, like Peep Squirrel Peep, You Can’t Catch Me, and sich like. We didn’ know nothin’ ’bout no New Years Day or holidays ‘cept Christmas.”

You can read more about Ms. Jenny Proctor life and view a full photo of her at the first link below, and the other additional links.

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai/enslavement/text1/jennyproctor.pdf (p.3)

Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide, Ishakamusa Barashango (book one) p. 75, *The Negro In World History No. 57, Tuesday Magazine – Phillip St. Laurent. P. 21.

http://www.iwasaslave.com/full-story-jennie-proctor.php

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai/enslavement/text1/text1read.htm

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/The-harrowing-struggles-of-slaves-in-their-words-2636712.php (January 31, 2003)

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