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West Point, Mississippi: John Buffington Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews John Buffington in West Point, Mississippi. Dent asks if the co-opt still exists and Buffington says it is completely gone by the time of the interview. Buffington says there were a number of co-opts in the area with various products. The catfish co-opt is one of the only ones still functioning. Buffington talks about Thibodaux community and the high expectations he has for its future. He talks about collective Black consciousness across the US; why it might exist and why it might not. He says the 1990s is a return to a more individualistic life style. They discuss specific Black communities across the US. Buffington said the community in West Point has more confidence than most. They had "style" and "walked with their head higher." They did not scatter when the police came. In general, they seemed more "motivated" and could organize well. Buffington talks about the resources and projects that came out of West Point. They discuss various Mary Holms graduates. Buffington talks about the strength of the Aberdeen community. He believes the Tupelo community is not as strong and united. He says Columbus, Alabama, was controlled by the Klan and the people there were generally beat down. He says it was a "nasty town" where children were inducted into the Klan at a young age and Blacks were arrested for vagrancy on a regular basis. They discuss the reluctance of Black mothers to go to the local Black hospital to give birth. They tended to use midwifes and the mortality rate was rather high. They had a Black doctor but not a Black lawyer.
The tape cuts out for a bit towards the end.
Dent, Thomas C.
West Point (Ms.)
Thibodaux community (LA.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 152, Item 5, 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.