Interview with Doc Barnes Part 1, Athens, Georgia, 1980 July 23
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
DescriptionPart one of a two-part recording. Recording of Art Rosenbaum interviewing Doc Barnes in Athens, Georgia. The recording takes place at his home, 2395 South Lumpkin, which used to be called John Davis Road. The neighborhood was called Old Princeton when he first moved there in 1936. Barnes used to plow and pick cotton by the university golf course. He speaks about a man named Nat Marvers, who was a famous root doctor living in Athens. He often treated people with a root he called Johnny Conquer. Barnes was born in Oglethorpe County on May 1, 1908. His parents, Jim Barnes and Savannah Barnes, were from Oglethorpe County as well. His grandmother on his mother's side was named Hannah Collins. Both of his grandparents were born during slavery, and spoke about it to Barnes. Barnes briefly describes their field work schedules. Barnes' father was a sharecropper, and would only be paid on Christmas.The family's income improved over time, until the boll weevils arrived. It became very bad in 1924, so his father quit picking cotton. They then moved to Athens, where his father worked for Mr. Tallis Rivers on North Avenue. Barnes describes seeing young African American men board the trains in 1917 to go off to war. They were "crying like little children," and many of them wore red handkerchiefs.