Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Fannie Hutchinson


Born and raised on a sharecroppers' farm near Petersburg, Virginia, Fannie Hutchinson (1905-1990) was one of sixteen children. In her 1984 interview, Hutchinson recalls how she started to work at the age of thirteen to help support her family, her move to Philadelphia in 1926, the limits placed upon her by an overprotective uncle, and her experiences as a domestic servant and factory worker. By the 1940s she owned her own grocery and luncheonette in West Philadelphia.


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Hughsey Childs


Hughsey Childs (1899-1986), a migrant from Abbeville, South Carolina, to Philadelphia during the late 1910s, recalls in this 1984 oral history interview details from his work, faith, career, and family. Drawing from personal experiences laboring in cotton fields and factories, encountering racism on a daily basis, and helping to create a new church, Childs is able to evoke the atmosphere of the era by narrating the stories of his rich tapestry of a life, which while distinct, shares similarities with many African Americans’ transitions during the years of the First Great Migration.



Louise Smith

Louise Smith.jpeg

Born and raised in North Carolina, Louise Smith (189?-n.d.), moved to Philadelphia after a railroad accident left her father unable to work when she was just fifteen.  There, she labored as a domestic worker and joined East Calvary United Methodist Church, founded by Reverend Charles Albert Tindley, the city's most prominent and influential African American clergyman. Marriage took Smith to Baltimore during the First World War, but in the early 1920s she returned to Philadelphia, where she lived at 1522 Catharine Street for most of her life.  When interviewed in 1984, Smith was one of the oldest living members of Tindley Temple.


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