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Louisiana - New Orleans: Vertamae Grosvenor Interviewee

@ Amistad Research Center


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.
Created Date:
1992 03 16
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From Collection

Southern Journey Oral History Collection

Record Contributed By

Amistad Research Center