Early Afro-Latino residents of Wilson.

Decades before the late 20th century influx of Central American immigrants permanently altered the binary of Wilson’s racial makeup, Peter Lupe of Cape Verde, Ramon Martinez of Argentina, John Sanchez of Mexico, and Emilio Guzman of Puerto Rico expanded the notion of blackness to include Latinos.

  • Peter Lupe, Cape Verde

When Pearlean Barnes married Louis Perrington in Cumberland County in 1943, she listed Peter Lupe as her father. (Her mother, Lucy Barnes Watson, is listed as “Lucy Lupe,” but was never married to Peter.) Pearlean was born about 1916.

On 5 June 1917, Peter Lupes registered with the draft board in Wilson, Wilson County. He stated that he was born in 1896 in Portugal and was not a United States citizen. He lived on West Nash Street and was employed as a lot boy for J.T. Wiggins. He was single, and his mother and father partly depended on him. He was described as tall and of medium build with brown eyes and black hair.

On 30 April 1924, Peter Lupes, age 30, son of Manuel and Mary Lupes, married Hannah L. Peacock, 21, daughter of Levi and Hannah H. Peacock, in Wilson. Rev. John Mebane performed the ceremony at a Missionary Baptist church, and W.H. Phillips, W.H. Kittrell, and James Mack served as witnesses.

In the 1925 city directory of Wilson: Peter Lupes, carpenter, 140 Ashe. His wife Hannah Lupe is listed as a schoolteacher.

In the 1930 city directory of Wilson: Peter Lupe (c), shoe shiner, 511 E Nash.

On 29 November 1939, Peter Lupes married Rosa Rhyne in Emporia, Greenesville County, Virginia. He was a merchant, a resident of Wilson, North Carolina, divorced, and listed his age as 45. He was born in Portugal to Joe and Mary Lupes. Rosa was widow born in Johnston County who also lived in Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 717 Viola Street, Peter Lucas [sic], 50, and wife Rosa, 35. Peter’s birthplace was listed as Massachusetts. He worked as the operator of a beer parlor and Rosa as the operator of a cafe.

Peter Lupe died 21 May 1958 in Wilson. He death certificate notes that he was a resident of the city for 50 years and that he was a United States citizen. He was born 21 March 1891 in “Cape of Verdia Island, Portugal” to Teorga Montel Lupe and Mary Montel Lupe; lived at 717 East Viola Street; and worked as a merchant. His wife Rosa Lupe was his informant.

Peter Lupe’s house at 717 Viola, July 2016.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 May 1968.

  • Ramon Jose Martinez, Argentina

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Ramon Martinez, 38, is listed as a roomer in the household of Mena Pitts, 39, at 903 Vance Street. He reported that he was born in Argentina, had been living in Pennsylvania five years previously, and worked as a sign painter.

On 16 February 1942, Ramon Jose Martinez registered for the draft in Wilson. He listed his birth date and place as 7 September 1898 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He worked as a commercial artist, resided at 903 Vance Street, and Ximena Pitts Martinez was his contact person. He was 5’6″, 184 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair, and dark brown skin. The registrar noted: “he limps (right leg).”

Ramon Jose Martinez died 15 September 1973 in Wilson. His death certificate reports that he was born 7 September 1900 in Argentina and worked as a self-employed commercial artist. His parents were unknown.

  • John Sanchas [Sanchez], Texas

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Texas-born macadamized road laborer John Sancha, 38, was a lodger in the household of Henry Maynard. Sancha, who was described as mulatto, reported that both his parents were born in Mexico.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Texas-born laborer John Sanchas, 49, wife Mary, and children Hattie, 21, Timothy, 17, Herbert, 14, and John Jr., 11; all described as black.

In Hill’s 1925 edition of the Wilson city directory, Herbert, Jno., Jno H. and William Sanctious are listed at 210 Finch Street.

On 20 May 1931, John Sanchas, a resident of 210 Finch Street, Wilson, died of chronic myocarditis. He was colored, age 57, married to Mary Sanchas, and worked as a common laborer. He was born in Texas; his parents’ names were unknown to informant Bessie Bowden.

  • Emilio Suarez Guzman, Puerto Rico

On 27 January 1974, Emilio Suarez Guzman died in Wilson of pancreatic cancer. He was born in Puerto Rico on 20 July 1892 and his “color or race” was Spanish. He resided at 1212 Queen Street and worked as a dry goods merchant. He was buried at William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church cemetery. Wife Mae G. Edwards Guzman was informant.

Photographs of house and gravemarkers (in Rest Haven cemetery), Wilson, by Lisa Y. Henderson.



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