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Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Social History

2018-07-16 Oral History With Myrtle Ross, Matthew R. Griffis Jul 2018

2018-07-16 Oral History With Myrtle Ross, Matthew R. Griffis

Oral History Archive

Myrtle Jackson Ross was born in 1929 in Austin County, Texas, where her father worked as a cotton-picker. When she was about eight years-old, Ross’s family moved to Houston, settling on Mason Street in the city’s Fourth Ward. There, her father worked at a hospital and her mother worked as a homemaker. Ross graduated from the Gregory School on Victor Street before attending Booker T. Washington High School on West Dallas Street.

Ross was in high school when she began visiting Houston’s Colored Carnegie Library, which was situated directly behind Booker T. Washington High School. For Ross ...


2018-06-02 Oral History With Willie Hartwell, Matthew R. Griffis Jun 2018

2018-06-02 Oral History With Willie Hartwell, Matthew R. Griffis

Oral History Archive

Willie Hartwell was born in 1942 Glenn, Texas and grew up in Houston, where she lived on Andrews Street in the city’s Fourth Ward. There, she graduated from the Gregory School before attending Booker T. Washington High School. Later moving to the Third Ward with her mother, Hartwell attended Miller Junior and Yates (now Jack Yates) Senior high schools.

Hartwell was about seven years-old when she and her younger brother happened upon the segregated Carnegie Branch library one afternoon on Frederick Street. Neither had visited a public library before. Located about seven city blocks from her home, the Carnegie ...


A Separate Space: Remembering Meridian’S Segregated Carnegie Library, 1913-74, Matthew R. Griffis Oct 2017

A Separate Space: Remembering Meridian’S Segregated Carnegie Library, 1913-74, Matthew R. Griffis

Publications and Other Resources

This article explores the largely undocumented history of Meridian, Mississippi’s 13th Street library, a segregated branch library constructed in 1912-13 with funds from Carnegie’s famous library program. Although the library no longer stands, it remains an important connection between libraries in Mississippi and the history of race relations. Using archival sources as well as oral history interviews with some of the library’s former users, the article considers the library’s importance as an early symbol of civic autonomy for Meridian’s African Americans and how it became a valued educational support center and community space. The ...


Oral History With Karen Edwards-Hunter, Matthew R. Griffis Apr 2017

Oral History With Karen Edwards-Hunter, Matthew R. Griffis

Oral History Archive

Karen Edwards-Hunter was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1950 and has lived most of her life there. Her father was a mail carrier and her mother, who was originally a homemaker, was later a Teacher’s Assistant at Perry Elementary School. Edwards-Hunter grew up on 15th Street in the city’s Russell neighborhood and attended Perry Elementary School and Harvey C. Russell Junior High School when both were still segregated. She later attended Louisville Male High School before earning a B.A. in English at Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. She completed further studies at Bard ...


Oral History With Houston A. Baker, Matthew R. Griffis Feb 2017

Oral History With Houston A. Baker, Matthew R. Griffis

Oral History Archive

Born in March of 1943, Houston Alfred Baker Jr. grew up in segregated Louisville. His mother was a schoolteacher; his father served as chief administrator of the city’s African-American hospital, the Red Cross Hospital, and had earned a master’s degree in hospital administration from Northwestern University on a Rockefeller fellowship. When Baker was a child, his family lived on Virginia Avenue, where Baker attended Virginia Avenue Elementary School. After his family moved to Broadway Street, Baker attended Western Elementary, later Western Junior High School, and then Male High School before leaving for Howard University in 1961. The family ...