Jefferson Negro Store District (Location Key)


In the Yoknapatawpha fictions as a group, Jefferson's black population lives in two different places. The domestic servants who are employed by the town's older families typically live behind their employers' houses (as was the case with Faulkner's own "mammy," Caroline Barr). Most of the rest of the black population lives in an area west of the Square. This area wears several different names in the Yoknapatawpha fictions: Freedman Town, Negro Hollow, Nigger Hollow. Three texts suggest the possibility that within this part of town there are businesses that are owned by Negroes. In Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, Byron Snopes goes in search of a man who can sell him a getaway car in "a street occupied by negro stores and barber shops" (272). In Absalom, Absalom! Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon usually gets "blind or violently drunk in the negro store district on Depot Street" (170). That street name suggests a place near the railroad, which is where Negro Hollow is located in the other fictions. In both these texts, the ambiguous phrase "negro stores" might mean the stores are simply patronized by Negroes, or could mean that they are owned by them as well. There is one such store in "Uncle Willy": Sonny Barger's, which has its own Location. Barger's store is in a part of town called "Nigger Row" (234), using a term that is rightly offensive now but would have been common in Faulkner's South, and that may indicate the presence of a number of black-owned businesses. The location of this area, like those in the other texts, is not specified, but it's unlikely to have been anywhere other than in Negro Hollow.

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Jefferson Negro Store District
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Jefferson Negro Store District