Oral history - M. Vinson

​Abstract: In this interview of my grandmother, Caroline she brought up the topic of their being Jim crow in the south, specifically south Carolina because that's where she was living at the time, but when she moved to Philly their wasn't Jim crow. Jim crow was just laws, segregating blacks from whites and restricting them from different things. One more thing my grandmother spoke about was Martin Luther Kings I Have a Dream speech.

Research: August 28th, 1963, This day martin Luther king gave his “I have a dream” speech to a crowd of over 250,00 people at the Lincoln memorial during the march of Washington. In the speech he calls for an end to racism in the united states. The march on Washington for jobs and freedom was partly intended to demonstrate mass support for the civil rights legislation proposed by president Kennedy in June. The march on Washington for jobs and freedom was also known as the great march on Washington was one of the largest political rallies in united states history. The march was organized by groups of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations. The civil rights act of 1964 was proposed by Kennedy in June 1963 and is a landmark part of civil rights legislation in the united states. It would outlaw discrimination due to sex, or skin color, race, or religion. The marches were credited for helping to pass the civil rights act of 1964.  








MV: When were you born?

CV: May 5th, 1933

MV: where were you born?

CV: south Carolina?

MV: How was it like your first ten years of growing up?

CV: It was good, I learned about the old government. my grandmother worked for the pension fund. I went with my grandmother to wash and iron for the white families.

MV: did they treat you any way?

CV: yes

MV: how did they treat you?

CV: we ate after they did, we had to walk to their house to do their laundry. I used to go with my grandmother when she worked in tobacco.

MV: what was your grandmother's name ?

CV: Della

MV: What was her last name?

CV: Della Peterson.

MV: What was your mothers name?

CV: charity

MV: Charity Peterson?

CV: yes.

MV: Where did she [charity Peterson] work?

CV: She did domestic work.

MV: Was she around the house a lot

CV: No she sleep in.

MV: Father?

CV: My father was a farmer.

MV: What did he farm?

CV: He had his own farm.

MV: Did he make a lot of money farming?

CV: Yes he owned it. He had cotton pickers.

MV: What do you remember about school.

CV: Yes, I started the school when I was 5 years old, the school I went to was in a church and all the classes were in one room.

MV: Any white kids in the school?


MV: Did you ever think about going to school with white kids?

CV: Not really, I went to school with white people just not in south Carolina.

MV: Are you still living in south Carolina while you were in grade school.

CV: yes.

MV: did you ever think that white kids education was better?

CV: no, I didn't think it was better.

MV: Did you think you were getting a solid education at that school?

CV: yes

MV: Do you remember the name of the school or the church it was in?

CV: Antioch.

MV: Where did you attend high school:

CV: Junior high school in Philadelphia, and senior high in south Carolina.

MV: So you were moving back and forward between Philly and south Carolina.

CV: Right, right.

MV: So when did you first move to Philly?

CV: 1946

MV: Did you notice a big difference between Philly and south Carolina ?

CV: yes I did.

MV: What differences:

CV: It wasn't as Jim crow. The whites and colored were the same.

MV: So the whites and blacks would mingle in the streets?


MV: Was it segregated?

CV: No it wasn't segregated

MV: So would you say you felt more comfortable living in Philly for the time?

CV: yes.

MV: When you went back to south Carolina how was the feeling?

CV: It was OK.

MV: would you have liked to live in Philly more after you been their?

CV: yes.

MV: When did you first hear about martin Luther king?

CV: in 1960’s

MV: Remember your first job

CV: yes

MV: what was it

CV: IT was uniform laundry

MV: How long did you work their?

CV: 44 years.

MV: 44 years.

MV: do you remember any speeches martin Luther king had?

CV: Yes, The I have a dream speech.

MV: Any other speeches?

CV: No that's the one that stood out the most.

MV: So when you first heard-

CV: Free at last, free at last thank god almighty I am free at last.

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