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Oral History Interview with Louise Pointer Morton, December 12, 1994. Interview Q-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Louise Pointer Morton was born in Granville County, North Carolina, in 1910. Morton begins the interview by describing her grandmother's role in the founding of the Jonathon Creek Church (intermittently called the Johnson Creek Church in the interview). Although she does not recall the specific date of the church's construction, Morton explains that her grandmother acquired land for the church from the Pittard family, to whom she was enslaved and seems to have continued to work for following her emancipation. With the gift of land, Morton and other African Americans in the community built a log church. The church was eventually replaced and a school for local African American children was also built on the land. Morton's grandmother had purchased five acres by the church and the school, where she raised her nine children and where many of her grandchildren also lived. Morton describes growing up in this community, relating her school and church experience and life without electricity or running water. Despite the lack of luxuries, Morton recalls with fondness how the community gathered to socialize and to work together during corn shuckings, and she expresses pride in her family's self-sufficiency. Additionally, in her recollections of the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church, Morton throws into relief the centrality of religion as a preeminent social institution within southern African American communities.
    Excerpts
  • Helping to build the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church
  • Community corn shuckings
  • Living conditions for rural African American family in the early twentieth century
  • Religious practices in rural communities
  • Courtship and marriage
  • Religious worship and the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church
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  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.