T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Buyouts have been a blessing
Arthur Kenneth Lee by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
ARTHUR KENNETH LEE: A lot of us ain’t got enough sense to get out of here. But hey, God going to take us out of there. He blessed us in a way indirectly. Here’s your chance. Your blessings come to you in all different kind of ways. It’s just up to you be able to accept them, and go ahead on with them and make something good out of it. And I think this is . . . that Sasol and its buyout is good. Because I’ve been through . . . first one with PPG that we had property down in Bayou d’Inde and we sold.

CHELSEA ARSENEAULT: That was the first company that started the buyouts?

LEE: With me, with my family. Okay? With the Lee family was down on the bayou, south of Mossville there on the south side of Highway 90, we had a 200-acre strip in there. In the beginning, my grandfather inherited it from his dad and his mother. Some industry, support industry bought portions of it. PPG, Jupiter Chemical, bought some of it. It enabled me to build my house in Mossville. And then from there . . . I called it a blessing then. And from there, Conoco bought my house in Mossville. Okay? A blessing, you understand? Bought my land. Then my mother died and we had some property, me and my brother had some property together in Mossville by my mother’s house and then now Sasol bought that, me and my brother’s land and my mother’s land. Okay? Blessing, okay? My grandparents and them had land there in Mossville, and the Lemelles. And Sasol, we in the process of selling that now. Blessing again.

I thank God every morning, because I say, man, that’s five or six times. And then my Grandmother Lee, when we moved from Bayou d’Inde, bought some property there in Mossville and we moved the house. We tore the house down, but we still have the property. So bam, that’s another Lee. You know what I’m saying? And I say wow, I mean, if people can’t see that. [*] They say, “Well, we’re not you.” Well, I guess not, you know, but you’re still getting some kind of blessing out of it. You’re getting a chance to get out of there. You all been hollering about moving and this and that, and this and that, and they’re giving you three and four times the value of your property. That’s a blessing.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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