Growing up in Rich Square

Toni Thorpe, the program coordinator of programs at the NCSU African American Cultural Center, describes that it was like growing up in Rich Square, North Carolina.

Interview on 2012-05-12


00:00:00.000 Well I'm from North Carolina
00:00:04.172 from Northampton County
00:00:05.847 small town: Rich Square, North Carolina
00:00:08.515 However, I moved here as a transplant, sort of
00:00:14.527 I went to - my parents are from -
00:00:18.464 Well my mom's from Rich Square, but they lived in Washington, DC
00:00:22.889 That's where my dad's family was from
00:00:25.057 And I just came early, so that's how I ended up being born in Ahoskie, North Carolina
00:00:31.479 But then they divorced when I was in middle school
00:00:35.147 And then I moved to live with my grandma, and she moved to California
00:00:39.781 My mom moved to California, not my grandma. I stayed here.
00:00:43.047 So my heart and spirit and roots are in North Carolina
00:00:48.796 I love North Carolina
00:00:50.999 I love the crickets at night
00:00:53.341 I love the fact that I grew up eating organic food before it was called organic
00:00:58.788 That if I wanted - whatever we had for dinner, we went to the garden and got
00:01:06.053 And my granddad was a butcher
00:01:08.875 So I had no idea when I was growing up
00:01:11.780 when relatives would come visit
00:01:13.928 my grandma would go get steaks
00:01:16.613 and it was a big deal, everyone always loved to come to our house to eat
00:01:20.726 and I - it was no big deal
00:01:25.250 even though I became a vegetarian - that drove them crazy for awhile -
00:01:28.758 the fact is that there were t-bone steaks, the best cuts
00:01:33.610 you know, there were hams, we always had the smell of a ham
00:01:37.336 out in the pantry
00:01:40.733 It just was a beautiful
00:01:42.561 existence; lots of family
00:01:45.881 lots of long conversations about whether the gloves matched a bag
00:01:51.551 you know, just forty-five minutes of
00:01:54.209 "I can't believe she had that pocketbook."
00:01:57.398 "Did you see that pocketbook?"
00:01:59.493 And I loved that. I was very narrative
00:02:03.362 And it smells good, you know, the earth. I just love it.