Growing Up With Jim Crow

Chatting with Ben Watford, an 88 year old black man who grew up in rural North Carolina. Listen as Ben reveals his humble beginnings and how he overcame being 'dirt poor' as one of a family of fifteen.

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Episodes

Tuesday May 25, 2021

Our final episode! Ben Watford talks about retiring back to NC. It's 1986 and Ben soon throws himself into numerous causes. no restful retirement and watching TV for this man...

Tuesday May 11, 2021

What did Ben get up to outside the classroom when he lived and worked on Long Island? A black man in the midst of a nearly all white community, Ben set about bringing some long overdue changes to his community and beyond. We find out about it in this episode.

Tuesday Apr 27, 2021

Ben graduates high school and leaves Winton NC to take up a place at Howard University. But how does a poor black boy get himself through college? And how does he land a plum teaching job at a traditional all white school on Long Island?

Saturday Mar 27, 2021

More stories from Ben Watford. He talks about growing up in rural NC under segregation in the 1930s and 40s.

Tuesday Mar 16, 2021

Ben and I chat about his encounters with the police and the KKK. His mom would sit him and his brothers down regularly and give them "the talk". This was her warning about encounters with the police in and around Winton.

Sunday Feb 28, 2021

Ben and I chat about 'shade'. Back in Winton NC in the 1930s and 40s there were light skinned blacks, and there were dark skinned blacks. Discrimination? You betcha....

Monday Feb 22, 2021

In the little town of Winton NC, where Ben Watford grew up and went to school, there were two local black people who were important to the town back in the mid 20th Century. Here we find out about Mrs. Katie Hart, librarian, and JE Reid, wealthy local businessman.

Sunday Feb 14, 2021

Ben Watford grew up in rural North Carolina in the 30s and 40s. He was one of 15 children. In this episode we find out about 3 of his siblings - Annie, Cleo and Alvin.

Saturday Feb 06, 2021

Ben Watford grew up in rural NC in the 30s and 40s. He was one of 15 children. In this episode we find out about his home life with a particular focus on food. Being hungry was a way of life. From a road side somewhat poisonous plant comes a foodstuff if you're hungry enough... Poke sallet anyone?

Monday Feb 01, 2021

Ben Watford grew up in rural NC and experienced school in the Jim Crow segregation south of the 30s and 40s. He overcame his 'dirt poor' beginnings with high school graduation, but not without struggles and some humorous moments. Snake for the teacher!

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