Author: Betty Jones


“Interview with Betty Jones” (Date Unknown)

In this narrative Betty Jones describes how her enslaved grandmother reacted when she discovered that slavery had been abolished. The narrative was collected by an unknown interviewer from the Virginia Writers Project and compiled in the book The Negro in Virginia. 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.