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Louisiana - New Orleans: Vertamae Grosvenor Interviewee
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Vertamae Grosvenor in New Orleans, Louisiana. Grosvenor begins by explaining that her family is from Beaufort County and Hampton County as well as Allendale County. She says her roots are from some nearby "James" and "John" islands as well as Savana, Scotia, Fairfax, and St. Helena. She says there was a lot of prejudice from city to city, even between Black communities. Those from Charleston, she says, seemed to think themselves superior. Grosvenor recounts her efforts to lose her "Ogeechee" accent because she was bullied after her move to Philadelphia. Her eating habits also changed in an effort to fit in. She switched from rice to more "American" foods like cornflakes, Campbell soup, mashed potatoes, and steak. Grosvenor explains that she prefers seafood, shellfish, and chicken now. The way she was raised she says was perceived as "ignorant." Though there was always a distinction between those whose family were from an area and were raised there and those who were considered newcomers. Grosvenor outlines a number of slang terms that came from African languages she used often in every day conversation. She also recalls times that the community would gather to discuss topics relevant to all of them. The farmers were a particularly active group. There were also "clans" which were smaller units. She does not recall being particularly proud of her African origin, it was "simply there" though it was a means of distinction and community.
There are many various background noises, like the sounds of a restaurant. The tape is quieter in the very beginning, but gets louder.
Dent, Thomas C.
Beaufort County (S.C)
Hampton County (S.C.)
Allendale County (S.C.)
St. Helena (S.C.)
Philadelphia (PA or MS)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 154, Item 12, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.