Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fend v.

also fen

(US black) to defend.

[US]A. Gonzales Black Border 301: ‘Fen’—fend, defend.
[US]E.C.L. Adams Congaree Sketches 37: Kill him if he try to ’fend he-self [DARE].
[US] in H.M. Hyatt Hoodoo (1970) 2.1477: Now, Peelee, ah want chew to ’fend dis case [DARE].
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso xv: ’fending and proving – serious reasonable disputation. [Ibid.] 138: When my mother came in [...] she started ’fendin’ and provin’ and found out the truth about that thing.