2018 May 15
Pittsfield, Mass. - Interview with Evelyn Pratt, born in Columbus, Ohio, Evelyn Judy Gammon, in 1948, talks about living on Grant Ave., where her father bought a house and dug out his own basement. Her mother died when she was young, and eventually Evelyn had a major role in the upkeep her the house and family. The children walked to Weinland Park Elementary school. Though she wanted to go... more
2018 Jan. 30
Pratt, Charles, Rev.
Pittsfield, Mass. - Interview with Rev. Charles Pratt, pastor of Victory Church of God in Christ in Pittsfield, Mass. Rev. Pratt was born in Columbus, Ohio. His father was a Tuskegee Airman, and as a child Charles lived in the Azores and other places. Charles loved music in school, and really began to like school in college, Ohio State University, where he has a scholarship and studied psy... more
2017 Nov. 21
Pittsfield, Mass. - Shirley Edgerton talks about growing up in Hemingway, South Carolina, Mt. Vernon, NY, South Bronx and North Bronx, NY. Extended family was essential to her childhood, as was the Methodist in Mt. Vernon, NY, where she found mentors who guided, took care of her and modelled a mentoring role that she would follow through her adult life. Shirley attended Herbert Lehman Coll... more
2017 Aug. 10
Pittsfield (Mass.) - Interview with Churchill Cotton of the Berkshire Chapter, NAACP. Cotton was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1950, and shortly after moved to Chicago, where he lived until the age of 10. His father became an AME minister there, and most of the family life was centered on the church. When he was age 10, they moved to Galesburg, Illinois, then when he was 15, back to Chicago. CC talks ... more
2017 June 8
Great Barrington, Mass. - Wray Gunn, longtime resident of Sheffield, Mass., Chemist, Director of Quality Control for Nelco Metals, later part of Pfizer, was born in Atlanta and lived part of his childhood in various places in the South. He talks about segregation, moving North, living in Lee and Stockbridge, Mass., attending UMass, being invited to play with the St. Louis Browns, but going to co... more
2017 Apr. 13
Pittsfield, Mass. - Dennis Powell, born in Pittsfield Mass, 1945, discusses the West Side of Pittsfield, business and residential streets there, that were later destroyed by urban renewal projects. He lived with half siblings, mother, grandparents; talks about men, mentors in the neighborhood, especially Saint Clair Gunn. After graduating Pittsfield High School, enlisted in Army, Fort Dix,... more
2016 Dec. 2
Pittsfield, Mass. - Interview with Churchill Cotton of the Berkshire Chapter, NAACP. Magdalene (Maggie) born in Dadeville, Alabama, Dec. 2, 1931, raised in Dadeville, while in high school began to visit Great Barrington, Mass., on school trip with her teacher. She moved to Pittsfield, Mass., after her third year of college (AAMU, Normal, Alabama), often sending money back to the family. Sh... more
1986 Apr. 23
Boston, Mass. - A native of Roxbury, a civil rights activist, and official in the NAACP, Batson was a leader in the legal challenge to the de facto segregation of Boston public schools in the 1960s. She was among the founders of METCO in 1966 and architects of its voluntary desegregation plan. Batson discusses her history in activism for desegregation with the NAACP Education Committee... more
1986 Mar. 18
Atkins, Thomas I.
Boston, Mass. - From a series of audio recordings with members of Boston's Black community about the busing crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. An attorney and noted figure in Boston politics in the late 1960s and 1970s, Atkins was first elected to the City Council in 1967. Appointed Secretary of Communities and Development under Gov. Francis W. Sargeant in 1971, Atkins became th... more
1986 Mar. 17
Robinson, Jack E.
Boston, Mass. - From a series of audio recordings with members of Boston's Black community about the busing crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. President of the Boston branch of the NAACP, Robinson filed the desegregation suit in 1972. Divisions between white and Black communities in Boston over desegregation and resistance of the School Committee; courage of Garrity's decision a... more