Brawley Gilmore—John Good’s Gumption

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 22, 2013 in Site

Say you’re a blacksmith and some of your customers just might be members of the Ku Klux Klan. It takes some guts to mark their horseshoes so you can look at the tracks after a raid and finger the riders. The way Brawley Gilmore tells it—or told it in 1937—John Good had the guts.


From U.S., Interviews with Former Slaves, 1936-1938


Good’s is one of thousands of stories you can find in first-person slave narratives like this one, collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s.

You can learn how to look for the African American heroes in your family’s past at

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