Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "migration"
13 total

Minerva Primes was born on a farm in small town in Georgia. She was reared in the church. At an early age, Primes developed a nuanced understanding of racial discrimination and segregation. She was well-educated and became an advocate for education. She discusses her experience working as a teacher, including working with white colleagues, her…

Daniel Ray Pickral, born in 1957, comes from an agricultural background. After he graduated from college he traveled around the country and lived "wherever Amtrak went." He discovered skating and started skating and hitchhiking around the country, paying his way with odd jobs and giving interviews to strangers about his travels and lifestyle. Once…

Zeta Swaggard was born in 1914 and migrated to Cleveland from southern Ohio during World War II. She quickly found work in a factory and found a place to live in a rooming house. Swaggard vividly describes riding the streetcars and notes their importance. She describes the atmosphere and the culture of Downtown Cleveland, including the shops,…

Lucille Jackson was born in 1937 and grew up in Abbeville, Alabama. She tells a few stories about how she loved growing up in the rural area, and has a few sour memories of discrimination. One case she recalls was that of a black man who worked at the soda fountain who would re-use the white kids' cups and give them to the black kids. Once Jackson…

Robert Madison was originally born in Cleveland. However, his family moved to Selma, Alabama, when he was only six months old. Their reason for leaving the city was because his father could not find employment in his area of study because he was "Colored." Madison eventually made it back to Cleveland to attend East Tech High School where he would…

Leroy Brown grew up in a sharecropping family on a North Georgia plantation in the 1920s-30s before moving to Atlanta, where he worked as a waiter. After serving in World War II in the South Pacific, Mr. Brown returned to Atlanta before moving to Cleveland. In Cleveland he found work as a bellhop at Haddam Hotel in the Euclid-East 105th area and…

Ora Sims was born on a cotton farm in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1917. Her parents owned the farm, which was rather unusual for African Americans in that area at the time. She recalls the hardships of farm life, including the boll weevil, but adds that in the Great Depression, she never felt poor because they grew all the food they needed. Sims…

Steve Bullock grew up in a large family in eastern North Carolina. His father was a sharecropper. Bullock attended Virginia Union University and recalls discrimination he faced while working in Virginia Beach the summer before enrolling at VUU. After college he entered the U.S. Army and was assigned to guard against communist infiltration at one of…

James L. Jones, aka "Buddy" Jones, was born in Union Springs, Alabama, in 1912, the son of a sharecropper. At age 7 the family moved to Matewan, West Virginia, for his father to work in the coalfields. Trouble soon developed when his father became involved in the UMWA's effort to organize coal miners in the region. Jones recalls being evicted from…

Hilton Murray was born in Luverne, Alabama. Shortly after World War II his father decided that southern Alabama was too inhospitable for African Americans and joined the Second Great Migration, ultimately settling in Elyria, Ohio, to raise a family. After graduating from Elyria High School, Murray attended Kent State University and Cooper School of…

In this interview, Celestine Beasley describes her experiences growing up in a sharecropper family in rural Mississippi, migrating to Cleveland's Cedar-Central neighborhood, and her career as a nurse at Mount Sinai. The interview also relates information about race, farming, food culture, and cuisine.

Frank Kidd Jr., born in 1935, has been a resident of Cleveland his whole life. His parents were originally from the south (Alabama and Mississippi), but moved to Cleveland to seek refuge from the brutal racism that still lingered post-slavery. Kidd lived most of his childhood with his grandmother, as his father served in the army. He looks fondly…

Melvin Walker was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 22, 1943. He moved to the area in 1962 with his wife and 2 children (they later had 4 together) after he graduated from Glenville High School in 1961. Walker’s parents were originally from Mississippi and migrated north to find work. Since then, Walker has traveled to many different places and has…