Changing Names | Facing History and Ourselves

https://www.facinghistory.org/reconstruction-era/changing-names

So, uh… here’s some interesting reading:

«I was born in Montgomery County, Ala. the child of Phillis Houston, slave of Sol Smith. When I was born my mother was known as Phillis Smith and I took the name of Smith too. I was called mostly Lewis Smith till after the war, although I was named Dick Lewis Smith—Dick was the brother of John Barnett whom I learned was my father . . .

When I got home after the war, I was wearing the name of Lewis Smith, but I found that the negroes after freedom, were taking the names of their father like the white folks. So I asked my mother and she told me my father John Barnett, a white man, and I took up the name of Barnett»

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