Browse Items (42 total)

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Kathryn ("Kitty") Fambro Woodard (1911-2003), born in Fort Valley, Georgia, moved to Philadelphia with her family when she was eight years old. Coming from middle-class parents who were both committee persons in Philadelphia ward politics, Kitty…

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Harvey L. Wilson (1880-1982) was born in South Carolina to a farming family. Even though he had a job as a railroad man in the South, he moved North in 1917 to find better work, hoping to find a job in the war plants or unloading trucks. He found…

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Marie Mathis (July 28, 1910 - February 28, 2005) was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, to parents William and Sina Mathis. Originally residing on a farm and helping her parents with sharecropping, Mathis and her family moved north in the early…

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A self-described “Old Philadelphian,” Joseph A. Marshall (1901-1990) was born and raised in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 1923, he joined Engine Company No. 11, located at 1016 South Street, the only firehouse to employ African…

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George Madison (b.1909), the son of a farmer, was born in Millers Tavern, Virginia. His family moved to Riverton, New Jersey then moved to Philadelphia after he graduated high school. There, Madison attended Temple University and competed on the…

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Jones was born 1904 in Philadelphia and grew up in the Germantown neighborhood. His father came from North Carolina and started work at Midvale Steel in Nicetown (North Philadelphia) in 1889. During the war, as one of the few Black foremen at the…

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Born in Palatka, Florida, Leon Grimes (1899-1985) was 13 years old when his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland. In his 1984 oral history interview, Grimes talked about his childhood in Palatka, his failure to complete school at Princess Anne…

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Born on Cat Island, South Carolina, sometime in the early 1890s Ernest Grey spent his childhood moving between family members in Georgia and South Carolina. Unable to read or even spell his last name, Grey came north on the free transportation…

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Born into a prominent “Old Philadelphia” family, Idelle Truitt Elsey (1892-1985) worked at the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and at the Brown and Stevens Bank before serving as secretary to the executive director of the Armstrong Association…

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Born in Boykins, Virginia, Bessie Yancey (1898-1897) grew up on a farm where her family raised a variety of crops, including cotton and sugar corn. Yancey was the seventh of twelve children. During World War I when her older brothers went to fight in…

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In two separate interviews conducted in March of 1984, Minnie Whitney (1902-1995) recalls her journey traveling from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to the city of Philadelphia. After spending 16 and a half years on the farm, working alongside her…

MinnieWhitney 1984 C.Hardy.jpg
In the first of two separate interviews conducted in March of 1984, Minnie Whitney (1902-1995) recalls her journey traveling from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to the city of Philadelphia. After spending 16 and a half years on the farm, working…

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William Steffens (b. 1897) was born to Fannie and Manuel Steffens in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his family remained in Jacksonville until 1917 when the family gradually made their way North. Life in Jacksonville exposed Steffens to discrimination…

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William Steffens (b. 1897) was born to Fannie and Manuel Steffens in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his family remained in Jacksonville until 1917 when the family gradually made their way North. Life in Jacksonville exposed Steffens to discrimination…

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Born in Mobile, Alabama, Charles Vance (1902-1988) was just nine when his mother died and his father relocated the family to Whistler, Alabama. Unable to support his family earning two dollars a day, Vance’s father moved North in 1917. Vance’s father…

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John B. Summers (b. 1888) was born in Columbus, Ohio. The son of an AME Church minister in Columbus, Summers was raised by a prominent family in Ohio, before moving to Philadelphia in 1918 after being rejected for the draft. Summers was able to find…

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John B. Summers (b. 1888) was born in Columbus, Ohio. The son of an AME Church minister in Columbus, Summers was raised by a prominent family in Ohio, before moving to Philadelphia in 1918 after being rejected for the draft. Summers was able to find…

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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 became a member of East Calvary United…

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Born in Danville, Virginia, James Plunkett (1896-1986) spent much his life moving from job to job, including tobacco farmer, bricklayer, railroad worker, and bartender. Over the course of two interviews conducted in 1983 and 1984, Plunkett recounts…

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Born in Danville, Virginia, James Plunkett (1896-1986) spent much his life moving from job to job, including tobacco farmer, bricklayer, railroad worker, and bartender. Over the course of two interviews conducted in 1983 and 1984, Plunkett recounts…
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