Springfield African-American History Foundation Interviews

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Springfield African-American History Foundation Interviews

(Interviews conducted by Springfield African-American History Foundation)

Established in 2003, the Springfield, Illinois African American History Foundation (SAAHF) seeks to record the history of African American families who have lived in the Springfield area for several generations. Tapes that have not yet been transcribed or digitized for access on the Web are available in the Library’s Audio-Visual Collection.

The tapes, created by the SAAHF, provide insight into life in the African American community and include discussions of family life, civil rights, discrimination, integration, and segregation in the workplace and educational community. Residents involved in the Springfield school desegregation suit are interviewed. Life in the military, including both the days before and following integration, is also discussed. Attention is also given to the variety of businesses that were owned and operated by African Americans. Interviewees include former teachers, community and religious leaders, as well as business men and women. Life in rural areas, small towns, and large and small cities is discussed in the interviews.

Acknowledgments: Funding for transcriptions has been provided by the SAAHF, the Sangamon County Community Foundation, and the Illinois Humanities Council.



Rosia Adams - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Retired home economics teacher; foster parent

Bettie Allen - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Government worker, mechanic, YWCA volunteer, world traveler

Velma Carey - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Parent and community volunteer; plaintiff in school desegregation lawsuit

Theresa Faith Cummings - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Social services administrator and businesswoman

Ted Curtis - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Realtor, school board member, state government administrator

Rudy Davenport - Springfield African-American History Foundation

NAACP and Habitat for Humanity volunteer, plaintiff in civil rights suit

Jessie Mae Finley - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Musician, active church volunteer, state worker, interviewed at age 97

Marian Goza - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Medical employee, community volunteer, parent

Robert Goza - Springfield African-American History Foundation

State employee, community and NAACP volunteer

Georgia Hale - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Bank worker, church and community volunteer

Beverly Helm-Renfro - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Daughter of photographer ‘Doc’ Helm, and admin asst to state Senator Barack Obama from 2001 to 2004

Ida Jackson - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Social service worker, parent, plaintiff in Springfield school desegregation case

Leroy Jordan - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Elementary teacher, college administrator, school board member

Charles Lockhart - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Veteran, factory worker, first black uniformed police officer

Terry Ransom - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Studied the Underground Railroad extensively

Jerome Reynolds - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Worked in the Real Estate business following in his Mothers Footsteps

Veronica Robison - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Small business owner; activist; advocate for equality

Paula Stadeker and Georgia Rountree - Springfield African-American History Foundation

A founding member of the graduate chapter for AKA sorority at Tennessee State University

Clarence Senor - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Navy veteran and African-American seeing action on a destroyer

Peggie Senor - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Minister, parent, community and church volunteer

Elijah Singley - Springfield African-American History Foundation

retired librarian, directly involved in Civil Rights demonstrations

Carmelita Hogan Washington - Springfield African-American History Foundation

University human resources professional, sorority volunteer

J.D. Washington - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas at a time when Jim Crow laws were in effect

Charles Wilson - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Bricklayer, musician, descendent of Springfield Race Riot victim

Jenrose Wilson - Springfield African-American History Foundation

Wife of Charles Wilson, worked in health care field

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