Author: Frances Greene


“Interview of Mrs. Armaci Adams” (June 25, 1937)

Armaci Adams, a woman born into slavery, tells two interviewers from the Virginia Writers Project about her life. Some of her major memories include how her burn scars saved her from being sold and that her enslavers hid the news about emancipation from her. Her interviewers estimated her birth year was 1859 and in her narrative Adams guesses that she was thirteen when she finally learned of emancipation, so she possibly spent the five to six years between 1865 and 1872 being illegally held in slavery. The editors of Weevils in the Wheat inserted comments in this transcription. Their bracketed comments have been included below. 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.