Viewing page 3 of 36

^[[These are Alma's own words]] -

I was born in Columbus, Georgia some seventy years ago I have lovely memories of a Victorian type of house, which my father had built, situated in a section of the city called Rose Hill. It was rightly named because roses bloomed there almost the year round. Still fresh in my memory are the beautiful flower gardens that we had. There were two unusual circular flower beds, so deeply preserved in my subconscious, which find expression in my paintings.

My Childhood in Columbus, where I attended the grade schools, was very pleasant. My mother and aunts were teachers and were graduates of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. I can remember their participation in Cultural clubs, their studying Latin, History, and the Classics. A white professor from Atlanta came to our home or twice a month to instruct them. A friend of theirs went to Washington and took lessons in painting on velvet. Upon her return to Columbus, she opened a class in that type of painting. I enjoyed the club's meeting at my house, for their tubes of oil paints and their beautiful colors fascinated me I was given music lessons and my mother played the violin.

My three sisters and I spent the summers on our grandfather's plantation, about 10 miles across the Chattahoochee River in Alabama. He was an excellent veterinarian and all his grandchildren loved him. My cousin ^[[he is deceased the late]] Clyde McDuffie ^[[was a Washingtonian]] who was head of the foreign language department in the public school system here for many years during his youth to visit his grandparents lovely plantation was the most enjoyable experience in is life.

When I finished grade school in Columbus, there was nowhere that I could continue my eduction so my parents decided to move the family to Washington. At least Washington's libraries were open to Negroes, whereas Columbus excluded Negroes from its only library. 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact