African Americans in Monroe County  


Negroes of Shake Rag


Approximately two and a half miles east of the town of Holliday is a territory which has been named Shake Rag. It used to be well inhabited by negroes. They had a negro school where all the children attended. The old negroes church was torn down recently. Bishop Mac was the minister and his best liked sermon was “The Speckled Bird”. The negroes thought be was the grandest man the Lord ever produced.

The negro-women have played a very important part in the rearing of some of the middle aged people of this town. They would come from Shake Rag two or three times a week and wash, iron or do anything that was desired for them to do. Sometimes they would be seen coming up the track with a very heavy load on their heads. They could carry very heavy loads in this manner. If they saw anyone they would remove the load and carry it in their arms. Once in a while they would bring their children with them, and during the day the white and black children would have a good time playing together.

Some of the prominent negroes of the older day were Sally, who made her home with Greg Glascock, Crawford, Judy and Taylor Galbert. Others are: John Williams, Aunt Ellen, Jim Calloway, Cora Heathman. There are only five negroes left in the settlement. They are Judy Hawker, Sherman Galbert and Myrtle Galbert.

Northwest of Art Hemmings’s garden they would have big meetings every summer. Some of the negroes were the Bassetts, and the Pettis.