Charlie Richmond

This Third Person recollection of an interview with the formerly enslaved Charlie Richmond describes how the dialect of the formerly enslaved populations remained prominent in the South among both Black and White families due to the fact that so many of them lived together during times of enslavement.
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Source Description:

The n—-o dialect of this county is a combination of the dialect white folk use plus that of the n—o of the South. The colored population is continually moving back and forth from Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolinas. They visit a lot. Colored teachers so far have all been from Ohio. Most visiting colored preachers come from Alabama and the Carolinas. The negroes leave out their R’s use an’t han’t gwin, su’ for sir, yea for yes, dah for there and such expressions as, “I’s Ye?”

The wealthiest families o’ white folk still retain colored servants. In Prestonsburg, Kentucky one may see on the streets neat looking colored gals leading or wheeling young white children along. Folks say this is why so many southerners leave out their R’s and hold on to the old superstitions, they’ve had a colored mama for a nurse-maid.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Charlie RichmondUnknownJohn I. SturgillJudge Richmond
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Floyd County, KYKentuckyUnknown
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Family, class, dialectThird Person, dialect