George White

George White, a former slave, was still working as a “medicine man” in Lynchburg in the 1930s. He learned the trade from his father, who had learned it from a master medicine man, Dr. Dick of Charlotte County. George White told his story to a WPA interviewer:

“Papa was a kinda doctor too like his master, an’ papa knowed all de roots. I ‘member once when Dr. White said a woman couldn’t live, papa went to see her an’ gave her some medicine an’ in a day’s time she was up eatin’ ev’thing she could get. I know all de roots too an’ I believe in dem because I only been sick an’ had a doctor two times, an’ dat was when I couldn’t swoller water. Dey said it was diphtheria, an’ another time I knocked my knee out of place. I just go an’ get me some roots whenever I feel sick. I know master weed, peter’s root, may apple, sweet william roots are good for a lot of things.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *