Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Migration"
14 total

Horst Hoyer interview, 29 September 2021

Reverend Horst Hoyer was born in 1930 in the city of Gotha, in Thüringen, Germany. Initially, Horst was told he was unqualified to join the ministry because of his poor public speaking skills, but he went to Berlin and joined a church association. In order to study theology, he needed to be certified in the ancient languages and crossed from East to West Germany over the Iron Curtain by plane using a military pass. He reached the United States on scholarship in 1954 to study theology. After his…

Minerva Primes interview, 01 September 2006

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 teaching method, and how black and white students interacted.

Daniel Ray Pickrer interview, 2006

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 he got to Cleveland, in 1991, he knew this was the place to settle because of the people's generosity. While in Cleveland he has picked up litter,…

Zeta Swaggard interview, 2006

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, department stores, restaurants, and theatres. Swaggard notes the change in downtown as the department stores moved to the suburbs and they started to…

Lucille Jackson Interview, 10 June 2013

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 grew a bit older, she recognized he was doing this and told him she wanted a new cup just like everyone else. She went to a segregated, all-black…

Robert P. Madison Interview, 11 June 2013

Robert Madison was born in Cleveland. However, his family moved to Selma, Alabama, when he was six months old Their because his father could not find employment in his area of study due to his being African American. Madison eventually returned to Cleveland and attended East Tech High School where he developed his interest in architecture. When he graduated from East Tech, he moved to Washington, DC, to attend Howard University. After three years he joined the ROTC and went to fight in Italy…

Leroy Brown Interview, 14 July 2013

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 then began a long career at Fisher Body in Euclid. He recounts the geography of black businesses on Cleveland's East Side and tells of personal…

Ora Sims Interview, 11 July 2013

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 recounts how her father fed passersby who were desperate for food and work during the Depression. She remembers the time before the Tennessee Valley…

Steve Delano Bullock Interview, 26 July 2013

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 the many Nike missile sites along the Great Lakes. He shares many memories of different manifestations of Jim Crow in the South in the 1950s-60s,…

James L. Jones Interview, 18 June 2013

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 company housing and having to live in a tent. Company-hired "detectives" fired upon the tents at night in the buildup to the infamous Matewan Massacre…

Hilton Murray Interview, 21 June 2013

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 Art. After graduate school in advertising, he worked at WKYC TV-3 and WJW TV-8 in Cleveland. Much of the interview focuses on his difficulties as an…

Celestine Beasley interview, 27 April 2006

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.

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Frank Kidd Jr. Interview, 25 February 2013

Frank Kidd Jr., born in 1935, has lived in Cleveland his whole life. His parents were originally from the South (Alabama and Mississippi) but moved to Cleveland to seek refuge from harsh racism. Kidd lived most of his childhood with his grandmother, as his father served in the Army. He recalls many aspects of his childhood and teen years. Among the topics he discusses are Karamu House, restaurants in the Central neighborhood, and musical acts that played in Central nightspots. Kidd is a strong…

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Melvin Walker Interview, 25 February 2013

Melvin Walker was born in Cleveland in 1943 to parents from Mississippi. He moved to the Cedar-Central neighborhood in 1962. He shares memories of diving with friends at swimming pools around the city, black businesses including those in the "Gold Coast" of Glenville, and visits to Gleason's Musical Bar and Leo's Casino in his younger years. He shares that he worked 32 jobs and discusses some of them including being a postal worker. He comments that, even during the Hough uprising of 1966,…

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