An Oral History of African Americans in Grant County

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"There's a story that goes like this . . ." So begins Delores Betts, one of the dozens of people whose memories and recollections of African-American life in Grant County over the past century and a half are preserved within what may well be the most intriguing and inspiring history you will ever read. As we move into the 21st century, the frantic pace of progress has made it easy to overlook the simple beauty of the spoken word, but the honesty and integrity of the voices within this illuminating oral history will draw you into the Grant County of yesteryear, and leave you feeling as if you were really there, watching history unfold . . . We invite you to join Barbara Stevenson and the dozens of others in this delightful journey back in time. It is an experience that we promise you will never forget.
ISBN: 9780738500478
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Indiana
Series: Voices of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
This is history as it was lived, in the words of those who made it happen. Barbara Stevenson has combined images from family albums with a tremendous number of interviews with Grant Countians born in the early 1900s, endeavoring to document their experiences as African Americans growing up, learning, working, socializing, raising children, and going to church in such small towns as Weaver, Michaelsville, Roseburg, Johnstown, Radley, Littlerock, and Marion. Their vivid and poignant voices weave together a tapestry of everyday life, and chronicle what it was like to settle here in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. There is no account of any African Americans living in the county when it was established in 1831, but people like the Weavers (1844), Pettifords (1844), Pulleys (1849), and Stokes (1849) paved the way for the thousands of others who would soon follow. They established the small town of Weaver around a post office, blacksmith shop, and country store, and in 1849 they built the Hills Chapel, now the oldest Methodist church in the state of Indiana. The Civil War brought immigrants from the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky to the area, families eager to settle down and work their own land. The communities they forged were strong—people worked together, worshiped together, and grew together—and the strength of the bonds they created can be heard in their voices and still felt in the area today.
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