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Interview conducted as part of the Nash County Cultural Center’s Oral History Project. Cannon, who is a Black woman, recalls growing up in the rural community of Castalia. Her father, Charlie Edward Mann, was a farmer who was also a pitcher for the Louisburg Red Sox baseball team. Cannon remembers walking 3-4 miles daily to attend the Castalia School, a small coal-heated schoolhouse with outdoor toilets. She discusses Sally Mae Arrington, a teacher who rode from Swift Creek on horse and buggy. She recalls singing in the Glee Club, recess activities, art classes, cleaning chores, lunch options, and May Day festivities at the school. Cannon also recounts how scared her family was during Hurricane Hazel. She reflects on moving to New York and New Jersey, working mostly in factories for 20 years, and remembers the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. She briefly discusses integration and mentions an incident of being refused service at a restaurant in Rocky Mount because of her race.





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