Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Samuel James (S. J.) and Leonia Farrar, May 28, 2003. Interview K-0652. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

An African American experiences poor treatment by a white land owner

Samuel remembers poor treatment at the hands of a white land owner.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Samuel James (S. J.) and Leonia Farrar, May 28, 2003. Interview K-0652. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

LEONIA FARRAR:
Just tell her how you got this place, how you got the land down here in 1957.
SAMUEL JAMES FARRAR:
There was an acre of land adjoining the land that we was farming on. I went to the landowner and asked him to sell me that acre of land. He said, no way I'm going to sell you that land. I determined. It started that, he came to my house one day and I was fishing. He asked my wife where I was. She told him I was fishing. I had the crop, everything up to date and this time to take a break and go fishing. That's what farmers did at that time. Our form of recreation, just go fishing, set on the creek. He told her that I should be there on that farm doing something, that he'd come over there. So she told me when I got in. He ran a country store. Made me mad, I went over to the store and I walked in. I called the name, seen him there was another white man. I called his name and he stood up, "What do you want, SJ?" I said, "As long as I live, don't you ever put your foot in my yard and tell my wife what to tell me. You are to have enough guts to tell me yourself and not tell her." Do you know what he said? He said, "I'll have you to know, when I walk in your front yard, that's my yard. You don't own nothing. That's mine and when I talk to your wife on the porch, that's my porch."
LEONIA FARRAR:
It wasn't his porch because we had rented, we rented the house from year to year. That was the law then. That was ours. He had no right to come over there and make demands.
SAMUEL JAMES FARRAR:
But he said we didn't. He had that attitude. And from that moment, I said to myself, a man will never again stand in my front yard, on my front door and tell me to be home. That really motivated and inspired me to get something of my own. And that same man, I asked him to sell me that acre of land and he said no.