Interview with James Roberson, March 17, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Personal background

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Partial Transcript: Okay, this is a, um, Kentucky Farm Family Oral History Program interview with Mr. James Roberson.

Segment Synopsis: James Roberson describes his early childhood growing up on the farm.

Keywords: Army; Belleville (Ark.); Corn crops; Cotton crops; Elle Mae Warner (??); Farming; Hickman (Ky.); Marriage; Mules; Philip School; Riverview High School; Sharecropping; Turning plow; Wages; Willie Thomas

Subjects: African American families; African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Social life and customs

GPS: Hickman (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.567222, -89.186389
00:10:23 - Farming

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Partial Transcript: And had you worked on the farm even before you had to quit school?

Segment Synopsis: Roberson discusses his early experiences sharecropping to support his family.

Keywords: Beans; Corn; Cotton crops; Cows; Flour; Frank Parker; Grocery stores; Hogs; Marriage; Mills; Ministers; Picking cotton; Seeds; Sharecropping; Wages; Youth

Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Social life and customs; Segregation

00:19:17 - Economic conditions

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Partial Transcript: Um, I, uh, I think back and sometimes I get angry, and sometime I just be thankful, you know, that the Lord blessed us and brought us through, you know.

Segment Synopsis: Roberson describes the economic difficulties of working as a sharecropper.

Keywords: Cotton crops; Farming; Picking cotton; Rice; Ruby; Sharecropping; Stone and Ledford Farm; Thomas Farm; Wages

Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Social life and customs

00:30:13 - Change in community

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Partial Transcript: Di, di, did you see this sort of starting the change when you were still farming?

Segment Synopsis: Roberson describes the shift in the community from his perspective.

Keywords: Alfalfa; Barley; Community; Cotton; Cows; Factory; Farming equipment; Hogs; Wages; Wheat

Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Employment; Social life and customs; Technology

00:40:19 - Sharecropping

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever think of going into farming for yourself, or?

Segment Synopsis: Roberson provides his perspective on why sharecropping was easier than family farming.

Keywords: Contractors; H. B Walker; Helen Tyler; Herschel Tarel; Johnson Farm; Parker Farm; Renting; Sharecropping; Thomas Farm; Tyler Farm

Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Social life and customs

00:47:09 - Mexican farmers / picking cotton / church

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Partial Transcript: Um, a couple of the--Mr. Rice and some other people had mentioned that at some point Mexican farmers also come up to--

Segment Synopsis: Roberson discusses Mexican workers on the farms. He talks about community involvement in church.

Keywords: Churches; Community; Gardening; Johnson Chapel; Mexican labor; Missionary Baptist Church; Phillip School; Sweet corn; Wealth

Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Health and hygiene; African Americans--Religion; African Americans--Social life and customs