Studio shots, no. 20: Dock Jacobs.

Dock Davis Jacobs was born about 1890 in northern Sampson County to Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. and his first wife Sallie Bridges. In 1895, soon after Sallie’s death, Jesse married Sarah Henderson Jacobs, who reared Jesse’s children. The Jacobses moved from Dudley in southern Wayne County to Wilson circa 1905. The 1908-09 Wilson city directory lists: [106 is now numbered 303 […]

Grocery shopping in East Wilson.

From an interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks (1910-2001) by her granddaughter Lisa Y. Henderson, in which she responds to the question, “Where did y’all shop for groceries?” “I went down on Nash Street down there to the A&P store when it first come about. Up there in back of Dickerson Grocery. Right up there on Pender Street. By First Baptist Church. […]

Studio shots, no. 19: Cora Miller Washington Artis and family.

The time, did I tell you about that time me and Cora Miller got drunk off tobacco? We were under the buggy shelter chewing it — Papa’s tobacco. We got drunk, we got sick. Mama said we were sick, but we were drunk from that stuff. She thought we had been eating sour apples.  — Hattie […]

Something just went all over her.

From an interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks (1910-2001) by her granddaughter Lisa Y. Henderson in which she explains the method Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. used to bring his estranged wife Sarah Henderson Jacobs back home to Wilson, and the aftermath: “The one I heard about at that time was Doctor Buzzard. And he was in the country. And you […]

Out past Five Points.

From an interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks (1910-2001) by her granddaughter Lisa Y. Henderson: “‘Cause I know I used to go with him out to the school. I swept out the Five Points School. Out there for three years to get a bicycle. So I could ride back and forth out there. I hadn’t got the bicycle this […]

Where we worked, 1922 — Mc.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the eleventh in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the […]

“Is Mama dead? Let me know at once.”

In this interview, Hattie Henderson Ricks (1910-2001) spoke of how she received news of the sudden death of her great-aunt, who was also her adoptive mother: “Mama didn’t know she had a bad heart until two weeks before she died.  She was always sick, sick all the time.  She’d go to the doctor, and the […]

Where we worked: 1922 — F.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the sixth in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the […]

The Round House reborn.

Wilson cut the ribbon on the Oliver N. Freeman Round House and Museum of African-American History Sunday. I was blessed with the opportunity to draft most of the text accompanying the permanent exhibit and to curate much of the content. I’m so happy and so proud and so honored and so humbled. Preserving and presenting […]

Where we worked: 1922 — B.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the second in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the […]