The Black Syracuse Project

Archive for the ‘Oral History Interviews’ Category

Alice Dismuke

In Oral History Interviews on May 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Alice Dismuke was born in Perry, Georgia in 1934, the eleventh out of twelve children.  Her family moved to Lowell, Florida when she was just four or five years old.   Here she is being interviewed by her niece, Tasneem Grace Tewogbola, on July 19th, 2010.

My dad was, would take us out of school and we would go to Bean City, Florida. While the other children were in school, we were picking beans for our livelihood.

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Letitia Harris

In Oral History Interviews on April 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Letitia Harris is the daughter of famed painter Falstaff Harris.  Here she is talking about her older sister, Joan Harris SouthGate, when being interviewed by Joan Bryant and Nancy Keefe Rhodes.

Yeah.  I’ll talk to my sister, see if she remembers.  She, talk about a character, that’s my sister.  My sister’s 83.  I had to go see her.  She walked to Canada.

She walked?  Did she follow the Underground Railroad?  Yes.

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June Dixon

In Oral History Interviews on April 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

June Dixon was born in Syracuse, New York in 1921 and has lived in Syracuse ever since.  Her mother was Mohawk and her father was Mexican.  Her maiden name, Rohadfox, is unique to her family.  Here she is being interviewed by Tasneem Grace Tewogbola.

And when’s your birthday?

My birthday will be coming up pretty soon.  We’ll hit 90!  January 27th, 1921.

1921.  And where were you born?

Syracuse, New York, 940 and a half South State Street.  Right where the police station is now down there.

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Brenda Muhammad

In Oral History Interviews on April 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

Brenda Muhammad  was born and raised in Central New York but her parents are both from Arkansas.  Every other year, Brenda and her extended family participate in a family reunion.  There, they compare their new genealogical research and flesh out their heritage.  Brenda is being interviewed here by Joan Bryant and Claire Enkosky.

Every time I would go to Arkansas, if I was in Little Rock, I would go to vital records or the court house and I would take a little bit of money that I have an buy someone’s birth certificate or someone’s death certificate or a marriage license.

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Ethel Edwards

In Oral History Interviews, People's AME Zion Church on March 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

Ethel Edwards was born and raised in Syracuse, New York.  Here she is being interviewed by the Committee to Save 711 East Fayette Street.  711 East Fayette is the location of the old building of People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse.

See I got baptized at Bethany Baptist, they had a pool right underneath the pulpit like we have one here, too.  All they had to do was just change my memory chip from one church to the other.  So I didn’t have to get baptized here.

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Letitia Harris

In Oral History Interviews on March 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Letitia Harris is the daughter of famous Syracuse artist Falstaff Harris.  Here she is interviewed in her home by Nancy Keefe Rhodes and Joan Bryant.

My sister and I used to sit and try to, you know, remember.  She remembers more because she’s older but I remember faces.  Cab Calloway was always over.  Cab Calloway was from D.C. too.  Who else was there.  Paul Robeson was there more than once.

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Jessie Grace Griffin

In Oral History Interviews on March 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

Jessie Grace Griffin is interviewed here by Tasneem Grace Tewogbola on July 29th, 2010.

Yes, there was a lot of people in Syracuse from the South but it was a long time before I met anybody from Georgia.

Where were a lot of people from?

Most people I met was from always Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.  And it was after I finally found someone from Georgia, I just felt more at home. Read the rest of this entry »

Kyle Bass

In Oral History Interviews on March 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Kyle Bass is a dramaturg at Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, New York.   He grew up in Frankfort, a small town near Utica, New York.  Here he is being interviewed by Tasneem Grace Tewogbola about his life and family in Central New York.

My parents bought a house in Frankfort, New York, in 1963.  This black couple with six children bought this house in rural upstate New York.  And the house was right across the street from a migrant camp.

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Connie Carmille Davis

In Oral History Interviews on February 25, 2011 at 10:20 am

Connie Carmille Davis grew up in Syracuse.  Here she is talking to Tasneem Grace Tewogbola about community life in the 15th Ward.  The 15th Ward was destroyed by the 1960s as a result of Urban Renewal.

The men and women that were older than us, I mean, were our seniors.  Now, I’m not saying old, old.  Like when they came in my aunt’s restaurant, there was a dance and some of the kids couldn’t afford it.  They would buy the tickets and leave them with my aunt and say “whoever wants to go to that dance, just give them a ticket.”  They looked after as.   Read the rest of this entry »

People’s AME Zion Church: Ann Tussing remembers Reverend Proctor

In Oral History Interviews, People's AME Zion Church on February 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

Ann Tussing is the wife of Dale Tussing, former Professor of Economics at Syracuse University.  They are Quakers and participated in the civil rights movements in Syracuse in the 1960s.  Both were active in CORE, the Congress Of Racial Equality,  an organization that was considered radical at the time for its activities.  CORE had been meeting at Grace Episcopal Church until the church got a fire bomb threat for allowing CORE to meet there.  Reverend Proctor of People’s AME Zion Church opened his church to CORE and invited them to meet at People’s.

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