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Interview with Andre Barnett

Barnett, Andre
Bowden, Ebony
Date of Interview: 
Childhood adventures
Andre Barnett tells a story from his childhood.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Ebony Bowden interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
EB (Ebony Bowden): Nationality?
AB (Andre Barnett): African-American.
EB: Um, do you attend school or any university?
AB: I attend UNC-Charlotte.
EB: How old are you Mr. Barnett?
AB: 22 years old.
EB: All right. Uh, you can begin telling me a story or any memoir from the past, anything you'd like to share with me today.
AB: OK. Well, I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina. Um, like I said I was 20, I'm 22 years old. I attended Independence High School and graduated in 1998. I am a sociology major at UNC-Charlotte. Uh, a story about Charlotte? Um, well my family is from Charlotte. I have two younger brothers, one is 16, one is 12, and my mother and father also live in Charlotte with us. [Pause] One of the-, one of my favorite books that I've read is The Autobiography of Malcolm X and it's, uh, non-fiction. And as a fiction, my favorite fiction is The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah.
EB: Why?
AB: I like The Autobiography of Malcolm X  because it is inspirational and I can relate to it. I like Sister Souljah's Coldest Winter Ever because it's a very interesting book and it, it keeps your attention throughout the whole book. I have lived in Charlotte my whole life my grandparents live here. I had one pet when I was 10 years old.
EB: What happened to that pet?
AB: It was a dog named Pluto. We gave the dog away because it kept tearing down our sheets from our, um, from our clothesline. And my, I miss my pet. And like I said, I miss my pet and I want to have another dog, um, preferably a pit bull. I want to have a blue pit bull with gray eyes. Um, when I graduate I want to go on to get my paralegal certificate and go to law school. Also enjoy going to church on Sundays. I preferably like going with my family. [Laughter] The end? All right. I want to tell a story about once, uh, my brother and I were told to stay in, to stay in the house one day and my mom said for us to, um, she went to the store. And she told us to stay inside the house and we also, it was my brother, um, my younger brother Kinard who was about 11, 10 or 11 and, and our youngest brother Javarris, who was a baby. And our mother told us to stay inside the house while she went to the grocery store, but-.
EB: But you all didn't?
AB: Exactly. As soon as she left we le-, we both went outside and I don't know if it was myself, I think I, I locked the door with the baby inside the house and we went and played a while, running around and after a while it came to our mind that Javarris was still in the house, the baby. And we forgot that, um, and we tried to get into, into the house and the door and we just stood there for awhile looking at each other knowing what was about to happen. And so we went to our neighbor's house to try to call our mom and we tried to remember first we tried to remember wh-, which grocery store she actually went to because the baby was locked inside of the house. And once we got, I think it was Bi-Lo. We called Bi-Lo and we heard them call our mom's name on the little intercom and she came up to the phone and that was, I think that was the um, the, the most angry sounding voice I, I, that I ever heard my mom have ever. When I told her that we were locked outside of the house and Javarris was locked inside she hung up the phone on me and she proceeded to come to the house and unlock the door. And, uh, that was the only time my mom gave me a whooping. No, that was one of two times that my mom gave me a whooping.
EB: How, how old were you then?
AB: I was, I think I was about 13, probably 13 years old, about 13 years old and she gave me a whooping with a switch and I think she made me go get a switch. And she gave me a whooping with a switch. And my dad came home and she told my dad what happened and he proceeded to go get a belt and give me a whooping again after that. [Laughter] So I had, you know, I guess a lot of coercive punishment for that, that little incident. And that's one of the-.
EB: And you felt like you deserved it?
AB: I felt like I deserved it. I did feel like I deserved it. My mom, uh, really didn't punish me a lot but she did punish me in the instincts with her children because she really cared about her children and I should have never done that. And I learned from that and that's the one, I think that's why that sticks out in my mind so much because my mom gave me a whooping that time.
EB: Thank you. Thank you Mr. Barnett.