Author: Allen Wilson


Interview with Allen Wilson (July 16, 1937)

In this interview, taken by Susie R. C. Byrd on July 16, 1937 as part of the Virginia Writers Project, Allen Wilson, a former slave from Petersburg, recalls his memories of enslavement, including helping to found the Zion Baptist Church. This interview, along with other Virginia Writers Project interviews, offer a composite portrait of interviewees’ self-styled personal stories. Interviewers’ interests, lived experiences, and editing choices, as well as their social relations and expectations shaped their relationship and conversation with the interviewees. Although the interviews aren’t unmediated autobiographies, they are no less authentic and are just as fruitful a source for reconstructing historical experience.