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Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

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Smith, Carolyn & Jack, Smith, Carolyn & Jack Interview: Bronx African American History Project Sep 2015

Smith, Carolyn & Jack, Smith, Carolyn & Jack Interview: Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Carolyn Smith was born in Metropolitan Hospital and lived in Harlem until around the age of 6 when she moved to the Melrose Housing Development in the early 1940’s. Her mother and a community of friends she grew up with in Hell’s Kitchen would all move around together. They moved around in Harlem a few times before settling in at Melrose. Carolyn discusses a common theme among those who grew up in this time of a sense of community where people in the neighborhood would watch others children. When they moved to Melrose it was a new housing ...


Altschul, Barry, Altschul, Barry. Bronx African American History Project Feb 2008

Altschul, Barry, Altschul, Barry. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Born in 1943, Barry Altschul grew up in the West Bronx in the forties and fifties. Altschul is a jazz drummer who first learned to play the drums at age eleven. He grew up playing shows in the Bronx and Harlem while also attending “jam sessions” where he received pointers from jazz musicians such as Philly Joe and Art Blakey.

Altschul attended elementary school at PS 70, junior high school at PS 117, and then attended Taft High School. Altschul’s elementary school’s ethnic makeup was mostly white, whereas in high school Altschul recalls that the student body was ...


White, Nat And Bernard Drayton, African & African American Studies Department. Nat White And Bernard Drayton Jun 2006

White, Nat And Bernard Drayton, African & African American Studies Department. Nat White And Bernard Drayton

Oral Histories

Nat White and Bernard Drayton were the men responsible for producing a series of jazz concerts at the Blue Morocco in the 1960’s. The Blue Morocco was located on Boston Road and 167th, but today no longer exists. The two men worked for Del Shields who was a DJ for WLIB FM, playing all jazz for 12 hours after midnight. Del knew Sylvia and Joe Robinson who owned the Blue Morocco. They began recording these jazz concerts on Monday nights for WLIB FM radio around 1964 and continued until 1967. While these jazz concerts were successful, it was ...


Blakeney, James, Blakeney, James. Bronx African American History Project Nov 2005

Blakeney, James, Blakeney, James. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

James Blakeney is a long time Bronx resident who grew up in the Patterson Housing Projects. His parents were sharecroppers from North and South Carolina. Neither of his parents received an education beyond the 6th or 8th grade. His father fought in World War II and then returned to the states to live in Queens, where James lived for three years, before moving to the Patterson Houses. His father worked at the mess hall of St. Albans Neighborhood Hospital and left the family, as many fathers were beginning to do, when James was ten years old. Mrs. Blakeney ...


Brath, Elombe, Brath, Elombe. Bronx African American History Project Jun 2005

Brath, Elombe, Brath, Elombe. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Interviewers: Mark Naison, Maxine Gordon

Interviewee: Elombe Brath

Date of interview: 21 June, 2005

Summarized by: Craig Teal, 26 March 2007

Elombe Brath is a longtime political activist in New York City who is one of the founders of the Jazz Arts Society and was active in organizing some of the first cultural pageants in New York City in the 1960s. Born on September 30, 1936 in Brooklyn, Elombe grew up in Harlem and in Hunt’s Point on 751 Kelly Street between Longwood Avenue and 156th Street. His family moved into a crossroads area of the Bronx that ...


Gumbs, Robert Interview 2, Gumbs, Robert. Bronx African American History Project Apr 2005

Gumbs, Robert Interview 2, Gumbs, Robert. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

The session begins with a quick recap of the questions asked in the first interview. From there, Robert discusses Freemen Theater. The theater was small and in walking distance from his house. During the day, the theater played movies and in the evening housed concerts. The audience was mainly African American and Jewish.

Dave Womack was one of the first artists to have an impact on him. When he was in High School, he started a jazz music appreciation day. Students would bring in a variety of artists’ albums, many of which he liked. The first jazz club he went ...


Harding, Vincent, Harding, Vincent. Bronx African American History Project Mar 2005

Harding, Vincent, Harding, Vincent. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Interviewees: Clara Lee Irobunda, Vincent Harding, and Carmen Givan

Interviewers: Dr. Mark Naison and Brian Purnell

Summarized by Alice Stryker

Before the interview formally beings, Clara Lee Irobunda discusses her role in the transition with Morris High School into smaller schools. The school was getting too large to efficiently teach all of the students and many were “falling between the cracks.” To fix this problem, she designed small separate “schools” within Morris High School.

The interview is concerned with the experiences of a variety of people who grew up on Dawson Street and lived near/went to Morris High School ...


Washington, Valerie, Washington, Valerie. Interview: Bronx African American History Project Mar 2005

Washington, Valerie, Washington, Valerie. Interview: Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Valerie Washington is a lifelong resident of the Bronx, whose parents were both born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. She grew up on Wells Avenue, then 1098 Simpson Street where her parents were the superintendents of the building. She says there were no other African-American families in the building, and this was common in the area for the superintendents to be African-American with mostly white Jewish tenants. She attended PS 20 where she was placed in the top classes from the very beginning of her education. She then attended Herman Ritter Junior High and then Washington Irving High School in 1953 ...


Archible, Leroi, Archible, Leroi. Bronx African American History Project Jan 2004

Archible, Leroi, Archible, Leroi. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Interviewee: Leroi Archible [Interview 1]

Interviewer: Dr. Mark Naison, Jim and Kevin

Transcriber: Gregory Peters

Date: 01/26/2004

Summarized by: Daniel Matthews

Leroi Archible is a Bronx community leader, youth athletics coach, political organizer, and long time Bronx resident. He was born in Memphis and lived in Lola, Kentucky during his high school years. His father emigrated from St. Ann’s in Jamaica in 1928, and his mother was born in Tennessee. He grew up visiting his Jamaican relatives in Morrisania, and he moved to the Bronx after he left the Marine Corps. Archible attended Kentucky State from 1947-1950 ...


Braithwaithe, Kwame, Braithwaithe, Kwame. Bronx African American History Project May 2002

Braithwaithe, Kwame, Braithwaithe, Kwame. Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

112th interview of the Bronx African American History Project

Interviewers: Dr. Mark Naison, Maxine Gordon

Interviewee: Kwame Braithwaite

The interview took place May 17, 2002

Summarized by Concetta Gleason 11-29-06

Kwame Braithwaite, a longtime activist, photographer and expert on the history of jazz in NYC was originally born in Harlem, and his family moved to the Bronx in 1943 when he was five years old. Braithwaite’s parents are both from Barbados, but they met in Brooklyn. His father was a tailor who owned several Dry Cleaning businesses, which kept him constantly busy, and his mother was a homemaker ...