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Legacies Project Oral History: Anna Noble

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 9:40am

When: 2020

Anna Noble was born in the early 1920s and grew up in Pittsburgh with 11 siblings. She worked as a launderer as a young woman. She applied to several nursing schools, but faced discrimination due to segregation. She attended Mercy Douglass School of Nursing in Philadelphia, which was an all-Black nursing school. In 1950, Noble moved to Detroit to take a nursing position at Haynes Memorial Hospital. She became the director of nursing at DMC Harper University Hospital, where she worked for 23 years. Later in life, she volunteered at the Lula Belle Stewart Center, which offered parenting assistance to single mothers.

Anna Noble was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project

Transcript

  • [00:00:13.50] SPEAKER 1: If you want, you can just hold up a [? piece ?] and show it to the camera so we can get--
  • [00:00:18.15] ANNA NOBLE: Huh?
  • [00:00:18.51] SPEAKER 1: So it can be [? a visual aid ?] [? to the ?] camera [INAUDIBLE]. Got it? [? Do you? ?] [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:28.27] SPEAKER 3: Could you step back [INAUDIBLE]? It's still [? kind of fuzzy ?] [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:42.54] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:43.50] SPEAKER 3: Oh. It's good right there [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:45.80] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:53.77] SPEAKER 3: I can see her pictures [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:00:57.55] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. You can pick it up a little bit higher. OK. OK. You can explain them if you need to, [INAUDIBLE] like to, what each picture is.
  • [00:01:29.99] ANNA NOBLE: Well, these are some of the events that happened while I was there working. They have like a 20 year employees who have worked 10 years, 20 years. These are dinners.
  • [00:01:54.68] SPEAKER 1: This is St. Regis?
  • [00:01:57.58] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. That's where it was, the St. Regis Hotel.
  • [00:01:59.89] SPEAKER 1: Cool. And that's just [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [00:02:03.70] ANNA NOBLE: [? Another ?] picture.
  • [00:02:09.23] SPEAKER 1: Are you wearing the pink? Are you in any of the pictures?
  • [00:02:13.22] ANNA NOBLE: [INAUDIBLE]. Let me see. This is-- OK. This is one of the pictures I want you to see.
  • [00:02:28.25] My brother gave me a black diamond mink coat for my retirement. That's one of the things I want you to see. Here's some. And I'll show you some of my family. Here.
  • [00:02:51.55] SPEAKER 1: Is that the mink coat right there?
  • [00:02:52.70] ANNA NOBLE: This.
  • [00:03:01.40] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. That is a gorgeous coat.
  • [00:03:14.73] ANNA NOBLE: It is. I was surprised. He came from New Jersey, he and his wife and son. And his son is the one that presented it to me. And they told me, when I picked them up at the airport, that they couldn't afford to buy me anything because you know, with three of them, the airfare and everything.
  • [00:03:34.87] So he said, sis, I have to buy you something later. And I'm all the while dragging a coat around in my car, in the trunk. I don't even know it.
  • [00:03:47.70] This is one of my staff nurses.
  • [00:03:50.90] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:03:51.32] ANNA NOBLE: Bonnie, yeah. She's the one who put the vodka in our punch at the Christmas party. I didn't know.
  • [00:04:03.19] SPEAKER 1: Spiked it.
  • [00:04:10.11] ANNA NOBLE: I want you to take a picture of my brother [INAUDIBLE]. He married a young girl that, 28 years her senior. And I want you to see him. I want you to see him. These are my brothers.
  • [00:04:40.14] That's four of them.
  • [00:04:42.01] SPEAKER 1: Which one? The top one?
  • [00:04:44.28] ANNA NOBLE: This is Roy. Chuck. Now Roy, Joe, Otis and Chuck. Chuck is the one who gave me the coat, him and his family.
  • [00:04:59.06] SPEAKER 1: That picture next to it on the top, [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:05:01.88] ANNA NOBLE: Which one? This one?
  • [00:05:02.65] SPEAKER 1: Yes.
  • [00:05:06.27] ANNA NOBLE: Oh. That's my sister-in-laws.
  • [00:05:12.83] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:05:19.28] ANNA NOBLE: They're my sister-in-law. All my brothers are dead, and eight sister-in-laws are living. How about that?
  • [00:05:25.53] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:05:27.39] ANNA NOBLE: This is my staff. During the day.
  • [00:05:36.08] SPEAKER 1: Is that at Harper?
  • [00:05:37.14] ANNA NOBLE: At Harper, doing-- that's the 7:00 to 3:00 staff. See, I had three staffs. I mean, three shifts. 7:00 to 3:00, 3:00 to 11:00, and 11:00 to 7:00. Let's see. [INAUDIBLE] find my brother.
  • [00:05:58.73] SPEAKER 1: You have any of their war pictures? Do you have any of their war pictures?
  • [00:06:03.30] ANNA NOBLE: War?
  • [00:06:04.02] SPEAKER 1: Like, [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:06:06.67] ANNA NOBLE: I have some with my brothers in service.
  • [00:06:08.91] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:06:09.46] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. Let me find. This is Chuck. This is my brother Chuck and his family. That's his wife. Now, how does he look? Does he look old beside her?
  • [00:06:25.93] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:06:27.58] ANNA NOBLE: He looks old?
  • [00:06:28.65] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:06:29.14] ANNA NOBLE: He does? Beside her?
  • [00:06:31.18] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:06:31.69] ANNA NOBLE: Oh, OK.
  • [00:06:34.18] SPEAKER 1: That's his son?
  • [00:06:35.26] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. He's in the CIA, in service. He's over in Afghanistan now. Yeah. He's 37. He'll be in the States in November.
  • [00:07:07.09] This is one of my sorority sisters' mother, who came to stay with me overnight when I had my knee surgery. She was in her [INAUDIBLE]. But you wouldn't know it.
  • [00:07:31.17] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:07:33.40] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. OK. That's enough. [INAUDIBLE] my brother's pictures.
  • [00:07:52.77] This is when we gave our mother her 80th surprise birthday. In Pittsburgh. That's my oldest brother and that was my youngest brother. That was in '87 or '88. With his family.
  • [00:08:27.69] She didn't know it. She was surprised.
  • [00:08:49.99] My family gave me a surprise 80th birthday in [INAUDIBLE]. Let's see.
  • [00:09:41.97] This is me in Bermuda.
  • [00:09:48.83] SPEAKER 1: I like your swim suit. [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:09:56.29] ANNA NOBLE: This is my brother Thomas. He was in the Navy.
  • [00:10:10.52] SPEAKER 1: Wow. [INAUDIBLE]. [? Question ?] in my mind.
  • [00:10:17.64] ANNA NOBLE: He's the one that gave me my fur trim coat when I was 13. [? Sample coat. ?] This is Chuck in the airport.
  • [00:10:31.61] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:10:32.99] ANNA NOBLE: No. Just-- that's his buddy. OK? This is my brother John that was a detective in Pittsburgh.
  • [00:10:50.06] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. Did he like, save a [? group ?] of people? [? They were kids. ?]
  • [00:10:57.34] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. The kids liked him.
  • [00:11:04.58] This is my brother Thomas when he used to box.
  • [00:11:11.47] SPEAKER 1: He [? looks ?] like he was a professional boxer, [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:11:15.97] ANNA NOBLE: No. My mother went to see him box one time. And she said no. She couldn't stand it.
  • [00:11:27.40] This is my brother Walter. He was in the service.
  • [00:11:35.38] SPEAKER 1: Is he at a table?
  • [00:11:37.64] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. They're at a table.
  • [00:11:39.51] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. So what rank was he? What rank was he?
  • [00:11:45.92] ANNA NOBLE: He was a Sergeant.
  • [00:11:54.17] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [00:11:55.36] ANNA NOBLE: OK? [? I understand ?] my husband's name is over at Miller High. He ran. He was in sports over there. He played basketball and ran track.
  • [00:12:22.87] SPEAKER 1: Miller High [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:12:24.57] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah.
  • [00:12:46.13] This is when I did volunteer for-- I belong to the AARP. And I went to the nursing home, St. Michael's, over on Seven Mile near [? Conan. ?] And helped them serve the ice cream social.
  • [00:13:08.63] That was my volunteer for AARP. And we help at the Salvation Army. And this is when I worked for the Angel Night. See, I got a picture with [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:13:31.16] We volunteer. We feed the patrollers. We feed the policemen. These are block clubs and neighbors. It's all donation. Some of the stores, they donate stuff like potato chips, pop, water.
  • [00:13:51.91] But we bring all the food. The policemen-- I understand, was coming from Grosse Point to eat our food. They'd heard about how good our food was.
  • [00:14:16.64] This is an award I got for over 50 years in my sorority.
  • [00:14:27.41] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:14:28.55] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah.
  • [00:14:33.64] SPEAKER 1: Cool. [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:14:41.64] ANNA NOBLE: [? Theta Phi. ?]
  • [00:14:44.53] SPEAKER 1: May I ask what the award was for?
  • [00:14:46.52] ANNA NOBLE: 50 years. Being a member for 50 years.
  • [00:14:51.50] I held office in our local group. I'm a charter member. I'm a charter member. I joined in Pittsburgh, the Kappa chapter. Then I transferred here.
  • [00:15:06.70] I've been Secretary of our chapter. I'm chairman of the communication committee now. And I've been that for over five years.
  • [00:15:26.81] Like I said, we work in the [INAUDIBLE]. We go visit the sick in the convalescent home. [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:15:51.42] And sometimes I take them food. Chili, cake. I'm a good baker. I bake cakes. I help, you know, if they need to be fed. I volunteer to feed them.
  • [00:16:14.37] Because I have some relatives. One's terminal. I've been running with them. When I left here yesterday, I went to help them clean out the house. Because he won't be going back. He's terminal. He's in hospice in Oak Point Nursing Home, over on Meyers. So his sister is here from Cincinnati. And they're cleaning out the house.
  • [00:16:45.47] And his sister, she's in a wheelchair. The other sister's in [INAUDIBLE] nursing home. She's had a stroke. So my in-laws were good to me.
  • [00:17:03.01] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] question. [INAUDIBLE] would you give advice to kids, our generation today?
  • [00:17:09.48] ANNA NOBLE: What?
  • [00:17:10.55] SPEAKER 1: What would you give advice to kids in this generation today?
  • [00:17:14.52] ANNA NOBLE: First of all, I'll tell you what my father told us when we were coming up. And I never forgot it. He says, just remember. I don't care how old you get, or how young you are. Manners and morals do not change.
  • [00:17:42.70] My father taught us that we were princesses. And to always act like a lady, and to command respect. I see the young ladies. If you don't command respect, you don't get it.
  • [00:18:03.40] It upsets me when I see the young men sitting down, having dinner with their ladies with the hats on. It seemed like everybody's just-- it just irks me.
  • [00:18:18.04] Because I know, in a restaurant, I'd just entered and I saw this. I just left. Because you can't say anything to young people. These days, you don't know whether they have a gun, a knife, or whatever. So you keep your opinion to yourself.
  • [00:18:33.49] Some you can talk to. The ones that I used to [? service ?] at [? Lula Belle, ?] I told them that education-- mistakes are made. We are all human. But remember, I said, that young child might be yours to take care of. If you're not getting any support now, you won't get any later on.
  • [00:19:00.79] You get your education. Then you can demand what you want. You go on a job. I tell young people. If your boss asks you to do something that's not in your job description, don't tell them it's not in your job description. Do it. Because the next job you write a resume for, or apply for, you might get a raise or promotion.
  • [00:19:30.43] And standing with your arms folded, standing, you know. And learn personal skills, how to talk to people. And don't underestimate us people with gray in our hair.
  • [00:19:51.49] Because I tell-- sometimes I get with the kids. I tell them, when they talk [INAUDIBLE], I said, I'm a bad [? motor scooter. ?]
  • [00:20:02.02] I have earned the right. And I love young people. I was raised, you know. And care about each other. We don't care about each other anymore. Respect each other. You don't have to agree.
  • [00:20:16.48] You know, but you can discuss things. Everybody has their own opinion. You don't dress like her. She doesn't dress like you. And these boys with the pants down, I wish I had a BB gun.
  • [00:20:35.26] Respect each other, you know. [INAUDIBLE]. You know, you have to treat people as you want to be treated. And don't rely on-- I go to Bible class every Wednesday. You don't have to go every Wednesday. You go when you can. Go to church. The man upstairs, he has the last word.
  • [00:21:03.58] I don't care what's going on. Who tells you what, the minister tells you. Don't put him on a pedestal. Because he is doing what the man upstairs tells him to do.
  • [00:21:20.47] Don't be jealous of other people. Ask the Lord to help you get what you want. Get something that you like to do, and get paid for it. Now, that's the beauty. Things you like to do.
  • [00:21:40.60] Because I love nursing. I love nursing. And I could walk-- I made rounds three and four times a day. In my patient's room, if they wanted a bedpan, I didn't call my staff to give it to him. I gave it to him.
  • [00:21:56.50] They wanted a drink of water, I gave it to him. If they wanted a back rub, I gave it to him. You don't get back rubs in the hospital now.
  • [00:22:08.77] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:22:11.55] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. Just be yourself. Obey your parents. I know sometimes, your parents-- see, we didn't question.
  • [00:22:21.16] When I was coming up, what your mother told you, you didn't talk back. You didn't ask questions. You did. My mother used to come to school. I wouldn't even know she was there.
  • [00:22:33.00] Because my friends would tell me, Anna, guess who's out in the hall? I said, who? My king. That was my mother. She'd be up there, you know, and not only because, you know, parent-teachers meeting, not for that only.
  • [00:22:50.56] She'd come up there and talk to the teachers. Wanted to know how we were doing. And we wouldn't dare-- like these kids, sign their own report cards, that kind of thing?
  • [00:23:02.80] My mother would kill me. You couldn't pay me to play hooky. You know, on Friday, they play hooky downtown, seeing Duke Ellington, Count [? Baysey, ?] down at the movies.
  • [00:23:16.81] I said, one of my neighbors would see me down here, call my mother. When I get home, my mother wouldn't ask me if I was down there. She'd tell you, Miss Brown said she saw you down there. And you'd get a licking.
  • [00:23:32.81] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] play hooky inside the school.
  • [00:23:35.48] ANNA NOBLE: Huh?
  • [00:23:36.28] SPEAKER 1: The kids these days play hooky inside the school.
  • [00:23:38.43] ANNA NOBLE: Do they? How do they do that? Go to a [? room? ?]
  • [00:23:45.34] SPEAKER 1: Or they go to another teacher's room. It's not their own class. They hang out in there. And the teacher lets them. Or there's a substitute teacher in the class.
  • [00:23:52.52] SPEAKER 3: Or go to lunch.
  • [00:23:53.86] SPEAKER 1: Or go to the library. [INAUDIBLE]. Or to the gym or [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:24:03.06] ANNA NOBLE: You're not accounted? Nobody accounts you or call your name when you go to class?
  • [00:24:10.30] SPEAKER 3: Nowadays, sometimes, they don't.
  • [00:24:11.99] SPEAKER 1: No, if they see you in class [INAUDIBLE]. That's how teachers like, know your face and everything.
  • [00:24:19.30] ANNA NOBLE: What about the truant officers? Don't they work? Our truant officers were on the ball. Now, you miss a day--
  • [00:24:27.96] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:24:29.16] ANNA NOBLE: Or two days--
  • [00:24:31.44] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] school have a legitimate reason.
  • [00:24:33.70] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. If you miss-- see, first of all, when you miss school, you're supposed to have a written note.
  • [00:24:39.54] SPEAKER 1: Yeah, we have those.
  • [00:24:40.30] ANNA NOBLE: You sick? Not calling, a written note.
  • [00:24:43.96] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] and I get my work even if I don't go there. [INAUDIBLE] I'm going to go up there and get my work [INAUDIBLE]. For school.
  • [00:24:52.00] ANNA NOBLE: And don't fool around with people that you can't learn anything from.
  • [00:24:56.86] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:24:57.76] ANNA NOBLE: You hear me?
  • [00:24:58.56] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:24:59.05] ANNA NOBLE: People that you can't learn anything from. You know who they are. They're not your friends. Because when you get in trouble, they are nowhere to be found. And, hey. And know the difference between acquaintances and friends.
  • [00:25:17.56] You don't have to talk to friends every day. But when you are needed, like I thought I was having a heart attack. And one of my friends happened to call me. And I was telling her, I was short of breath.
  • [00:25:31.90] And I said, and I'm going to take myself to the hospital. She said, no, you're not. She said, I'll get my hat and my clothes on. In about 15 minutes, I'll be there to take you.
  • [00:25:43.26] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:25:47.54] ANNA NOBLE: You can depend on them.
  • [00:25:48.55] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] too.
  • [00:25:49.72] ANNA NOBLE: And you don't have to agree with everything. My best friend for over 56 years, I found her dead. I haven't gotten over it yet. I didn't know her heart was that bad. I knew she had hypertension and a little heart problem. But I didn't know it was that bad.
  • [00:26:12.67] She had a heart attack. I had talked to her that evening, Sunday evening. And then I didn't talk to her anymore. So Monday morning, I call. No answer. And we talked every day.
  • [00:26:30.73] So I called the police. I had a key. I got a key to her house. [? Noted ?] the alarm. But I asked the police to meet me over there, to go in with me. You know. That's when I found her in the bathroom. About two years ago.
  • [00:26:56.72] 56 years, that's a long time. Friends. I met her-- you know, since I [? been ?] here.
  • [00:27:06.69] I came here in '50. She came in '51. We worked at the same place. We could buy clothes for each other. Our perfume, we knew what kind of perfume each other wore. We just-- and our husbands were close, you know. It's just something, so.
  • [00:27:35.85] That's my advice. Just make sure, you know, things are hard because I have two nieces. My sister's children, Hattie, there's two girls. I'm Anna, my middle sister's [? Mac and Erma. ?] We call her [? Mac. ?] My baby sister is Hattie.
  • [00:28:04.58] She has three grands, [? Kaula, ?] who's 20, she's in her second year in Clark. She went one year in Clark, down south. But she's in her second year in Chatham, in Pittsburgh.
  • [00:28:26.88] Her sister, who is 19, 18. [? Kaula ?] is 20. She just turned 18 this year, [? Kiana. ?] She is an artist. She wants to go to art school.
  • [00:28:52.81] But she wants to work. OK. [? Kaula ?] saved her money, bought her car. She owns her own car. She takes care of herself. She's not on the campus this summer, because she's with my sister. She lives with grandma.
  • [00:29:09.33] [? Kiana, ?] the 19-year-old, she saved over $4,000, bought her a little car. Got her own insurance. And she works every day. And she wants to go. She'll start school in December.
  • [00:29:27.99] I'm so proud of them. I write them letters. I've been sending them-- when they were little, send them $5 for their birthday. I told them all when they got 18, the money was going to be cut off. I was just sending a card.
  • [00:29:44.40] But now I'm helping them with school, you know. Whatever I can do. But when they got the cars, I sent them $25 gas money.
  • [00:29:56.79] And I encourage them, tell them how proud I am of them, how proud grandma who's watching over, looking after them, great grandma, watching over them. And keep your eye on the prize.
  • [00:30:10.74] I said, don't let these little boys-- because they pick you out. I'm telling you. These young men, they pick you out. If you have low self-esteem, I'm telling you. I want you to listen too.
  • [00:30:23.47] If you have low self-esteem, if you're from a broken home, and if you're lazy, they pick you out. They get you under their thumb. They start feeding you drugs. They start alienating you from your family. Then they mistreat you, beat you and whatever.
  • [00:30:43.11] You don't have to put up with that. You get your education. And you don't have to take nothing from anybody.
  • [00:30:54.21] I'm 88 years old. I put a flushing unit in my toilet. I went to Lowe's-- no, Home Depot. Had the man walk me through it. Took it home and put it in.
  • [00:31:09.83] I put a microwave cabinet together. I hang my curtain [? rungs. ?] I put my washers in when, drip, drip, drip.
  • [00:31:24.66] I don't have no boyfriend. Can't find a friend.
  • [00:31:31.25] I was at the credit union, and met this fella. He said-- I was wondering why this man was waiting. I saw him looking at me in line, you know. Then when I get ready to leave, here he is. Hi. He said, hi.
  • [00:31:45.69] He said, how are you? I said, I'm fine.
  • [00:31:49.06] He said, I'd like to take you to dinner. I said, you don't know me. And he said, you seem like a nice lady. I said, you don't want to be fooling with this old lady.
  • [00:32:02.69] He said, well, I'm 62. And you can't be no more than 65. I said, how about 87. And he almost lost his bridge work.
  • [00:32:13.56] [LAUGHTER]
  • [00:32:18.26] And guess where he wanted to take me?
  • [00:32:21.90] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:32:24.10] ANNA NOBLE: Country Buffet. I said, listen. I don't have anything against Country Buffet. Because I eat there myself sometimes.
  • [00:32:35.59] But if you're going to take me to dinner, it's got to be table cloth, silverware, a menu, and an atmosphere.
  • [00:32:48.11] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:32:50.23] ANNA NOBLE: So he looked at me. And I said, I tell you what, sweetie. I said, whoever you've been taking to Country Buffet, you continue, because I'm out of your class.
  • [00:33:02.00] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:33:08.43] ANNA NOBLE: You don't have to settle. I'm not begging. I have a stand up freezer. I just pulled up pork steaks. I had pork steaks. Cheese and eggs, grits, orange juice. Toast for breakfast. I eat what I want. I don't beg. I don't have to.
  • [00:33:34.91] SPEAKER 1: Is there anything that you want to add on that we didn't ask?
  • [00:33:50.27] ANNA NOBLE: I'm not a religious fanatic. But I believe. I believe. You have the faith, you walk by faith, not by sight. And when you get discouraged, sometimes, just get away in a room by yourself, or in a corner. Talk to the man upstairs. Tell him your problem. And believe. And when you give him your problem, let it alone. Give it to him.
  • [00:34:24.57] Because I know. I had that problem. Give him a problem, [? they ?] want to take it back. Because some times, I have sleepless-- you get worried about things. And you can't sleep.
  • [00:34:35.43] You haven't given him. You don't trust him enough. You have to trust him.
  • [00:34:41.84] And don't beg. Honor thy mother and father. I don't care what has happened, or what they've done. It's still your mother. You don't have to approve of everything she does. But she's still your mother. OK?
  • [00:35:00.03] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. OK, so, we've got like six minutes of film left. I think we're done for today. [INAUDIBLE] questions.
  • [00:35:19.44] ANNA NOBLE: I really appreciate working with the young people. Just keep-- this is a good learning experience for you. Just look around, observe everything. And don't forget, ask questions.
  • [00:35:37.53] You know, you can't learn anything by not asking. And you're not dumb because you ask a question. Because some of the same people that are calling you dumb, they want to know the same thing. But you had nerve enough to ask.
  • [00:35:54.52] SPEAKER 1: OK. [INAUDIBLE] now. OK. We're going to continue [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:36:01.27] ANNA NOBLE: Yes. Listen. I'm kind of hard of hearing. I have a hearing aid. And I have it turned up, but you have to speak a little louder for me.
  • [00:36:09.15] SPEAKER 1: We're going to start with the question that was left off from yesterday [INAUDIBLE] historical and social events. Thinking back on your school years, were there important social or historical events that were taking place at the time?
  • [00:36:25.53] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see. '41, war was declared. Pearl Harbor was bombed. Then we declared war in '41.
  • [00:36:49.95] I was in nursing school. I became a cadet nurse. And that was part of the nursing students role that we played. We became-- they called us cadet nurses.
  • [00:37:12.80] We participated in sending supplies to the Red Cross. Some of us volunteered for the Red Cross, to help. You know.
  • [00:37:32.12] And also, during that time, there was an episode in Philadelphia. They hired nine black conductors to work on the streetcars. They had the old streetcars that ran on the track.
  • [00:37:58.55] And there was a lot of controversy about it. They almost caused a riot. They had to call the state police to ride the bus with them. And that lasted for about a few months. Then that was over.
  • [00:38:17.48] We went to the USO to entertain the soldiers. What else? I'm just trying to think about.
  • [00:38:37.93] The main thing was, there was a war.
  • [00:38:43.36] SPEAKER 1: How did the war personally affect you and your family?
  • [00:38:48.27] ANNA NOBLE: I had nine brothers. Seven of them were in the service. Two were in the Air Force. One was in the Army. One was in the Marines. One was in the Navy. One was in the Coast Guard.
  • [00:39:18.99] And I wanted to be an Army nurse. And my father said that was enough out of one family to support the country.
  • [00:39:34.17] SPEAKER 1: OK. That concludes the questions, [INAUDIBLE] about your [? experience. ?] Part four, adulthood and marriage and family life. This set of questions covers a very [? long ?] period of your life. [INAUDIBLE] your education, entry to the labor force, or starting a family, until all your children left home and you and, or your spouse retired from work.
  • [00:40:01.25] So we might be talking about a stretch of time spanning as much as four decades. After you finished high school, where did you live?
  • [00:40:11.69] ANNA NOBLE: I lived with my parents. I worked in the laundry. I was a beginner. [? We call it a shaker. ?]
  • [00:40:36.37] I went to night school because I didn't have the subjects that was required to get into nursing school. So I took Latin. And I took Biology in night school. And I graduated in 1940.
  • [00:40:54.72] In 1942, I applied for nursing school in Pittsburgh. I applied at Duquesne University, Pitt University, Carnegie Tech University. And at that time, they weren't accepting blacks.
  • [00:41:20.01] And neither was the hospitals that had nursing schools, accepting blacks. The only positions that they could work in was like orderlies and cooks and work in the laundry.
  • [00:41:34.62] My father worked with a gentleman named Mr. Hatcher, whose daughter had graduated from Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia, an all-black nursing school. That's where I applied.
  • [00:41:48.15] At that particular time, I didn't have the weight. I only weighed 88 pounds. And the requirement was that I weigh 100 plus. So I had to wait awhile before they accepted me. But they accepted me in the fall of '42, I went in.
  • [00:42:10.50] And it was very small. I guess we were really a poor hospital. Because we couldn't afford to buy supplies ready-made. We made our cotton balls. We made our bandages. We made our disposable bags, you know, that you put your tissues in, out of newspaper.
  • [00:42:42.48] We had a bedpan scrubber that we had to scrub, to put the bedpans in to sterilize them. We had to-- when your patient was put in isolation, we had to mop the room and wipe down the walls, hand high.
  • [00:43:09.48] I enjoyed the experience. It was great. Because when we went on affiliation to the more affluent white hospitals, if things weren't-- like, we had the special equipment to work with. We knew how to improvise.
  • [00:43:28.35] And the people that were from the better schools, they were at a loss. They didn't know how we did it. So we taught them some things.
  • [00:43:44.54] Phipps Institute was where we got our tuberculosis training. Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia General was where we got our psychiatric affiliation. Children's Hospital was where we got our communicable disease clinical experience.
  • [00:44:07.59] That's where I got a strep throat. I was isolated for two weeks. And they wrote a letter back to my school, not to let me graduate until I had my tonsils out. So I couldn't graduate. So my mother gave them permission for them to take my tonsils out.
  • [00:44:34.63] And there was 32. We were the largest class in the history of the nursing school. We were the largest class. And we made a lot of changes.
  • [00:44:49.80] We changed the rules for campus [? bounding, ?] [INAUDIBLE] like a punishment. If we were insubordinate, or we caused any problems, we weren't allowed to leave the campus. And that was our punishment.
  • [00:45:15.48] But we had a good time. A group of us used to go to USO every Saturday. And we had one or two of our nurse friends stay up late to open the gym window so we could sneak in. And the director of nursing wouldn't know what time we came home.
  • [00:45:39.65] And I told about the music. They asked about the music that I remember. Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right". We were dancing by that music.
  • [00:45:56.05] So I had an excellent time in nursing school. It was hard. The residents, Dr. Smith from New York, taught us how to give the students-- we were students in the emergency. He taught us how to give syphilis shots. Syphilis was a prevalent disease.
  • [00:46:19.88] It wasn't [? called HIV ?] then. That's what it was called, syphilis and gonorrhea. He taught us how to give the shots. He also taught us how to draw blood. And we were just probies, you know. Just beginning.
  • [00:46:41.41] [INAUDIBLE] taught three subjects. She taught anatomy and physiology. She taught neurology. And she taught psychology. And she was the one who used to feed us. She would cook us dinner in the lab. Because she knew most of us were homesick for home-cooked food. Although we got good food there at the school.
  • [00:47:17.43] SPEAKER 1: I have a question about your school. So at your school, were the teachers or professors, like, all of the same race? Or of a different race?
  • [00:47:27.28] ANNA NOBLE: At that particular school?
  • [00:47:28.57] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:47:28.89] ANNA NOBLE: It was all black. The schools that I applied were white. And they weren't accepting us then.
  • [00:47:40.09] In the show-- there was a show on the corner about a block from our school. It was prejudiced. Black people had to sit in the balcony.
  • [00:47:54.01] We integrated that. Because about all 32 of us went up there one day. We sat on the first floor in the middle row. We took our caps off, because our caps were taught-- we were taught our caps was our dignity.
  • [00:48:10.84] So we were getting ready to get into mischief. So we left our caps at school. We went up there. We sat in the middle row. And the usher came up and told us we had to move. And we sent back word, we weren't moving. And that broke. After that, we could sit anywhere we wanted.
  • [00:48:31.71] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:48:33.16] ANNA NOBLE: That was in '42, '43, in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love. I hated it.
  • [00:48:48.87] SPEAKER 1: OK. I don't know if you were married [INAUDIBLE], but I'd like you, if you can, can you tell me about your married life?
  • [00:48:57.52] ANNA NOBLE: I got married and I came here in 1950. May 2. Because Pittsburgh was not paying nurses any money.
  • [00:49:14.47] I understand that Michigan, Chicago, New York and California were paying nurses a good salary. My classmate in nursing school was working here for one of the doctors. And she was leaving for another position.
  • [00:49:36.13] He asked her if she knew a nurse. And she told him yes. And she called me.
  • [00:49:44.42] I asked my mother and dad-- I wanted to leave, because I was working there. I wanted to go to New York. [INAUDIBLE] said I couldn't go. I wanted to go to Chicago. And they said I couldn't go.
  • [00:49:55.06] But Dr. Chalmers called my parents to ask them if I could come to work, because I would have my living quarters on the premises. And I would be in a supervised environment. And my mother and dad agreed. And I came here May 2, 1950, and have been here ever since, [? working. ?]
  • [00:50:24.17] [INAUDIBLE] my first job was at the [INAUDIBLE] Convalescent Home. I worked there until 1954.
  • [00:50:40.94] And I got an offer for a position at Parkside Hospital. It was all black. And they wanted me to be the head nurse, the director of nursing. I worked there until '63.
  • [00:51:05.25] I got married in '61 to a Mitchell Noble. He was from Anderson, South Carolina. But he was raised here.
  • [00:51:18.58] No children. He had a son.
  • [00:51:26.49] We were married 12 years. We did extensive traveling, because he had family in California and New York. And their family was a large family, called the Noble family club.
  • [00:51:45.21] They had meetings. They had a secretary, a president, vice president, secretary. And they had meetings every fourth Sunday of each month, except July and August.
  • [00:52:03.36] We went on trips. We had fundraisers. We went to Vegas. We went to the Mardi Gras. We went to Montreal.
  • [00:52:18.54] In fact, I went to Montreal for my honeymoon. And my husband gave me, for my wedding present a 1962 Fairlane. That was my wedding present. I've got it in my wedding album.
  • [00:52:48.36] How we raised funds for the trips-- we would ask our friends. We'd have a bus load. We had 44 on the bus. So that's how we raised money.
  • [00:53:02.25] Every July 2, they had a family picnic out to Belle Isle-- not Belle Isle, Rouge Park. River Rouge Park.
  • [00:53:13.17] And we would supply all the food and some of the drinks. But if you wanted something special, you brought that.
  • [00:53:20.97] Every Christmas, we had a Christmas party at [INAUDIBLE] family's home in the basement. And we prepared the food. All the Nobles were excellent cooks. So that's why I cook well.
  • [00:53:43.07] My husband took sick. And we got hijacked in 1971. That's my husband.
  • [00:54:10.34] We went to Cuba. And we were in Cuba from-- the red light's on. Is that something? Does that mean something?
  • [00:54:19.46] SPEAKER 1: It's just recording.
  • [00:54:21.32] ANNA NOBLE: The red light.
  • [00:54:22.29] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:54:23.35] ANNA NOBLE: Oh, OK. We were in Cuba from-- we didn't know we were being hijacked from metro. But the people at the airport knew. 39 of us got on a plane, and 143 of us were left in the metro. We didn't have any luggage. We didn't know we were being hijacked until we were up in the air.
  • [00:54:52.79] And we heard someone tell us, remain in your seats and stay calm. That was a hijacker. We didn't see him. Because he was in the cockpit with the pilot, and two of the airline hostesses. They had three.
  • [00:55:11.12] One was running around. We don't know why she was so nervous. But she knew what was going on.
  • [00:55:17.64] We landed in Cuba around 1:00 something. And we stayed in Cuba from that time to about 9:30.
  • [00:55:30.47] We had no luggage. The only thing you could bring was your pocketbook. They didn't allow us to take your carry-on off the plane.
  • [00:55:46.00] They gave us, what? Danish rolls and fruit juice. And they fed us. The food was horrible. The only thing, it was like-- I made a statement in the paper that the dessert was good.
  • [00:56:02.69] But when we got there, we went up stairs. And they asked us what we wanted. I said, I wanted a rum and Coke. I was so nervous. I thought that would get my nerves together.
  • [00:56:18.96] My husband and I, my sister and brother-in-law-- that was their first flight. Not mine, because I'd been flying since '49.
  • [00:56:29.15] And both of them had bad hearts. But they survived.
  • [00:56:34.43] We were with the group, about 18. They had thought we cancelled. Until they met us. We were supposed to go to Florida. Because this was winter, in October.
  • [00:56:51.44] We were supposed to go to Florida to change clothes, because our first leg of vacation was Barbados. So after we got hijacked and had to go back to Florida, they had to give us a stipend to eat, and give us money to buy clothes to sleep in.
  • [00:57:18.05] Our luggage didn't come until the next day. We left the next day, and we met up with our group. They thought we had canceled.
  • [00:57:27.89] But we told them what had happened to us. And for the rest of the leg of the Caribbean tour, we were celebrities. Every island we went to, they treated us like royalty.
  • [00:57:45.65] One of the fellows in Jamaica made a song, because I had an outfit with the hot pants. And he made a song about that.
  • [00:58:00.63] SPEAKER 1: That's cool.
  • [00:58:01.57] ANNA NOBLE: My husband passed in 1974. He died of cancer of the lungs. It had spread all over the body. So he was diagnosed in June. And he was dead in October. So I've been a widow 34 years.
  • [00:58:24.32] I worked 39 years. After I left Parkside, I went to Harper in '63. June of '63. And I worked there 23 years.
  • [00:58:43.48] I was head nurse about eight. I took care of VIP people like the Hudsons, the Saunders, the [? people's ?] [? furniture. ?] The [INAUDIBLE], the [? Coles, ?] the Rosenthals, the [INAUDIBLE].
  • [00:59:07.40] Because my floor was all private rooms except one. And [INAUDIBLE]. The [INAUDIBLE] family.
  • [00:59:18.40] SPEAKER 1: OK. So where and when did you meet your husband?
  • [00:59:23.75] ANNA NOBLE: I met him at a friend of mine. Her cousin was going with-- her cousin was going with his brother. And she told him that a friend, her cousin, my friend, told her to tell him to tell his brother that he had a nice friend that he wanted to meet.
  • [00:59:49.57] We courted, I think, I met him in '59. We courted for two years. Because I wasn't a teenager. I was 27 when I got married. I had my own apartment. And I had my own furniture.
  • [01:00:10.18] And I wasn't really thinking about getting married. But he seemed to be a nice fella. My family met him. My mother liked him when she came to visit me. So. We got married in Hartford Avenue Baptist Church.
  • [01:00:33.61] And that was-- that's not the new one. The one I got married in was over on Milford and the Boulevard. Reverend Charles [? Hill ?] married us.
  • [01:00:51.72] I had the reception at the [INAUDIBLE] on [INAUDIBLE] and [? Brush. ?] That's in my wedding pictures.
  • [01:01:02.72] SPEAKER 1: Did you have any children?
  • [01:01:04.48] ANNA NOBLE: No. I don't have any children. I was married about five years. And my family doctor, Dr. AB Henderson, who's since deceased, asked me, was I upset because I didn't have any? I told him, no. Because I had lots of nieces and nephews that I send birthday presents to. So I wasn't worried about having any children.
  • [01:01:33.94] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [01:01:42.25] ANNA NOBLE: Out of the 12 of us, my youngest brother, he didn't have any children. But he adopted a little girl.
  • [01:02:00.16] SPEAKER 1: Are there any special days, events, or family traditions that you practice that differ from your childhood traditions?
  • [01:02:09.73] ANNA NOBLE: Well, as I told you before, we used to, when I was at home, we had family Thanksgiving dinner at home.
  • [01:02:20.37] My sisters, after I got married, we had like a Thanksgiving dinner at one of the family homes. And the family gathered.
  • [01:02:37.44] And as I told you before, we had the family picnic, and the family Christmas party. And the picnic was the second Sunday in July, at River Rouge Park. And the Christmas party was during the Christmas holiday, at one of the relatives' home.
  • [01:03:02.94] And it was a potluck. Everybody brought a dish. We had everything. We had everything at the picnic too. We would have roast turkey, roast beef, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, green string beans, fresh fried corn, corn on the cob. Macaroni and cheese, all kinds of cakes. They were good bakers.
  • [01:03:29.40] German chocolate cake, peach cobbler, apple cobbler, double fudge layer cake, pound cake, apple pie, cherry pie. All kinds of goodies.
  • [01:03:45.96] And we had lots of friends. Lots of friends. They would come, because they knew the Nobles were good cooks.
  • [01:03:55.39] SPEAKER 1: OK. [INAUDIBLE] section of your pop culture [? news. ?] [INAUDIBLE] the pop culture during your adult years.
  • [01:04:06.32] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see. Pop culture.
  • [01:04:08.03] SPEAKER 1: Music and styles and dances.
  • [01:04:12.58] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see. Well, I used to like to wear platform heels and high heels. Bermuda shorts. And my mother used to-- I would wear braids to school. But on Friday, I could get dressed up. And my mother would like, French braid my hair, because I had long hair. She'd French braid my hair.
  • [01:04:49.47] I liked dancing. I liked sports. I could swim. I played basketball. We skied. We made our own skis out of curtain rods. Because we lived on a hill. And the hill would be icy. We'd slide down. We could ski downhill.
  • [01:05:19.65] And also, during the summer, when the grass was slick, get in a cardboard box and ride down the hill. Some times to hill would be higher than this.
  • [01:05:35.58] I was a tomboy. I told you I had nine brothers. Now there were six boys when I was born. So they taught me how to play baseball, touch football. I ran track. I broad jumped.
  • [01:05:52.24] I was in competition in school, you know. I don't know what you call them here. We used to call them track meets.
  • [01:05:59.32] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:05:59.82] ANNA NOBLE: Have you heard of the Franklin Games in Philadelphia? Yeah. I competed in that.
  • [01:06:09.39] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:06:10.68] ANNA NOBLE: I got medals to show.
  • [01:06:15.52] SPEAKER 4: I hope I didn't catch you mid-sentence.
  • [01:06:18.92] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. The boys wore those big hats and those pants. Stovepipe pants. Yeah, stovepipe pants. They were like this.
  • [01:06:36.30] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] skinny [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:06:40.42] ANNA NOBLE: Have you ever seen pictures of Cab Calloway?
  • [01:06:44.28] SPEAKER 1: No.
  • [01:06:45.25] ANNA NOBLE: With the big [INAUDIBLE] pants and the--
  • [01:06:48.06] SPEAKER 1: Skinny legs [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:06:49.16] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now they were in.
  • [01:06:51.53] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:06:52.69] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah, the big hats. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
  • [01:06:59.89] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE]. Were there any slang [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:07:08.46] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see, slang. I think I told Kim yesterday, you got it. Like, you're talking, you know. And all of a sudden, I'm talking to you. And all of a sudden, you act like you don't know what I'm talking about. So finally it hits you.
  • [01:07:40.42] And they'll tell you, I got it. Or you'll ask him, you got it?
  • [01:07:54.29] I really-- see, first of all, we were from a family that didn't allow slang. My father used to tell us, we can speak proper English. We would do it with our friends. But not around the house.
  • [01:08:11.93] Because when we weren't busy, my father would tell us to get a book and read it.
  • [01:08:19.71] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:08:20.17] ANNA NOBLE: We didn't have. See, we didn't have the hang out at the malls. We didn't have that. We didn't have allowances.
  • [01:08:30.86] But every Saturday, we went to the movie to see like a chapter, like-- you may not remember these cowboys. He probably does, like Tom Mix and Hopalong Cassidy. They had like, chapters. Go to 1 to 15. And every Saturday, they would show a chapter. Well, that was our treat, going to the movie.
  • [01:08:57.22] SPEAKER 1: They made a chapter into a movie?
  • [01:08:58.88] ANNA NOBLE: A chapter.
  • [01:09:00.53] SPEAKER 1: They acted it out, or like--
  • [01:09:02.02] ANNA NOBLE: In a movie. It would be like a chapter, a whole movie. But it would be a chapter. It would be chapter one-- it would be 15 chapters.
  • [01:09:11.74] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:09:13.66] ANNA NOBLE: But it would be another-- see, you would see a movie. But this would be part of the chapter of the cowboy series. We each got $1. You could buy what you wanted with $1.
  • [01:09:29.47] If four of us or five of us went, [? your ?] brothers and sisters went, who all went to movies, you came back together. And sometime my brothers wouldn't be on time. I'd have to sit on the porch and wait until they came so we could all go in the house together.
  • [01:09:49.70] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:09:52.50] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. See, we could walk to the movie. You guys don't walk. You don't ride the bus, you ride cars. Somebody picks you up. We walked to school. We went to school in the morning. We came home for lunch. We went back to school. We walked.
  • [01:10:10.20] And we weren't walking level. Pittsburgh is hilly. We walked around like a hill to the school. Walked around and went down the boardwalk to the street.
  • [01:10:22.04] SPEAKER 1: So, did you like, have a bike, or [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:10:24.42] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. But we didn't bike to school. We had, let's see. Out of the 12, there was eight bikes, eight sleds, eight pair of skates. Six bats, eight baseballs. That was what we played with.
  • [01:11:01.17] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] to school.
  • [01:11:03.12] ANNA NOBLE: Huh?
  • [01:11:03.61] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] to school.
  • [01:11:05.07] ANNA NOBLE: No, we wouldn't skate. No, we walked to school. Skating was for after school. Skate on Saturday. Not at school.
  • [01:11:24.57] SPEAKER 1: I can just walk around hills to school, [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:11:28.12] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah. Hills.
  • [01:11:29.24] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] forever. It'd take me like three hours to get to school. I'd be late.
  • [01:11:32.00] ANNA NOBLE: No. I used to walk to town from where I lived in high heels.
  • [01:11:39.05] SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:11:43.15] ANNA NOBLE: And you're going up and down hills?
  • [01:11:45.35] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. It took me like three hours. Especially in the morning.
  • [01:11:50.23] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah.
  • [01:11:52.60] SPEAKER 1: OK. Now we're getting into the [? work ?] retirement [? field. ?]
  • [01:11:59.98] ANNA NOBLE: I retired from Harper in 1985. I was 62 years old. I'm 88 now.
  • [01:12:15.95] Since then, I have worked 11 years, volunteering with the [? Little Bell Stewart ?] Center. That was a school for, like a home for unwed mothers. We didn't house them. We had like, an apartment. They had one child. We gave them an apartment. They had a GED class. We gave them advice.
  • [01:12:50.30] That was on Webb and Woodrow Wilson.
  • [01:12:52.70] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:12:55.60] ANNA NOBLE: Did you? Did you know anybody?
  • [01:12:58.14] SPEAKER 1: I knew three people who were there.
  • [01:13:00.30] ANNA NOBLE: Oh, did you. Well, I volunteered there for over 11 years. And we would give service. We'd give them vouchers to get clothes, furniture.
  • [01:13:18.32] Then they'd have to be in some kind of program, you know, in order to participate. Then I worked on the polls. I'm still working on the polls. I know I've worked on the polls over 10 years.
  • [01:13:44.02] I do volunteer blood pressure screening, to some of the churches for hypertension for the [? Healtharama. ?] I work with the Fellowship Church [? in ?] [? Hartford. ?] Sometimes I [? work out ?] to the Northland Center.
  • [01:14:14.31] SPEAKER 1: Sorry, pause.
  • [01:14:19.67] SPEAKER 5: This set of questions covers a fairly long period of your life. From the time you completed your education, entered the labor force and started family until all of your children left home, when you and your spouse retired from work. So we might be talking about a stretch of time spanning as much as four decades.
  • [01:14:38.86] After you finished high school, where did you live?
  • [01:14:43.85] ANNA NOBLE: I lived with my parents. I lived in Pittsburgh. I finished high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Fifth Avenue High, 1940.
  • [01:14:56.21] I lived with my parents. And I wanted to be a nurse. And when I applied for-- I think I told this before. I applied for nursing for Pitt University, Duquesne University, Carnegie Tech University. They weren't accepting blacks.
  • [01:15:29.15] So I went to Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia to get my nurse training. But I went to night school. I had to go to night school for a couple of years because I needed science and biology. And a language. And I took both.
  • [01:15:55.50] And I was accepted in nursing in 1942. And I had a weight problem. I only weighed 88 pounds. And you had to weigh 100 plus to get in this school. And I went there in 1942.
  • [01:16:19.26] We had 32 in our class. We were the largest class in history to be accepted at the school. And we had affiliations with Phipps Institute for tuberculosis, Children's Hospital for communicable diseases, Philadelphia General for psychiatric and [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:17:01.83] That was our clinical experience. Because we were a small school. And we didn't have all those subjects in those buildings at our school.
  • [01:17:15.64] Ms. Mary Martin was our nursing instructor, and anatomy and physiology. Ms. Nettie [? Wiggs ?] was our instructor in neurology, biology and [? clinical ?] lab experiences.
  • [01:17:40.71] We were probies. When you go into nursing school, you're considered a probie. That's like a freshman.
  • [01:17:54.69] And you have upperclassmen. And sometimes they take advantage of the probies and make them do all the dirty work.
  • [01:18:09.96] We were a poor school. We made our own bandages. We made our own cotton balls. We made our own paper bags out of newspaper.
  • [01:18:24.51] When you had a patient in isolation, like with tuberculosis or a communicable disease, we the students had to scrub the floor and do the wall hand-high. We did that.
  • [01:18:40.89] We scrubbed our bedpan cleaners. The container that cleaned the bedpans, we cleaned that. We had a discipline. We call it campus bound. If you did anything that was not acceptable, like to be insubordinate, or if one of the upperclassmen had something against you and told a tale on you, and reported you to the director of nursing, or medical director, you got campus bound. And you weren't allowed to leave the campus for so many hours, or they campus bound you for a week or whatever.
  • [01:19:33.21] SPEAKER 6: Pause. Thank you.
  • [01:19:36.65] ANNA NOBLE: I got a strep throat. And I had to be isolated. And after the isolation, and you went back to your school, they sent a letter to my director of nursing that I couldn't graduate until I had my tonsils out. And that was Dr. Sullivan. He was a ear, nose and throat doctor. He took my tonsils out before I graduated.
  • [01:20:14.36] I graduated in 1945. And I came home. And in the meantime, when I came home for like, summer, I worked in the laundry for Mr. [? Touchman. ?] And Mr. [? Touchman ?] wanted me to not go back to school, to work there regular, because I was a faithful worker, a good worker. I was promoted from a shaker to a feeder.
  • [01:20:48.58] So feed the sheets through the ironer, long ironer. And I was promoted to taking care of family bundles. So I was like a little supervisor. And I was still a student. This is where I worked to make money when I came home on vacation.
  • [01:21:06.93] So I told him, I said, I couldn't see myself working in a laundry the rest of my life. And my parents were sacrificing to send me to nursing school.
  • [01:21:16.67] So he congratulated me. He said he was just trying, because I was a good employee.
  • [01:21:24.56] I worked after I graduated. We had to take a State Board to become a registered nurse. I took my State Board in Pittsburgh. I was the only black nurse that was in the class that was taking my boards.
  • [01:21:46.82] My mother told me that she didn't want me to work until I was a registered nurse. So this was like in December. And I passed. And I started to work at [INAUDIBLE] Hospital, and Sister Martha was the director of nursing.
  • [01:22:10.46] This was in-- I took my boards in '45, December. This was in January. I started to work at [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:22:22.99] I don't suppose they would call it segregated. But it was. I took care of all the black patients. Occasionally I'd get a white patient, because she was either a-- call girl, a mistress, and what else? Call girl, mistress, and sometimes a prostitute. You know, a street prostitute.
  • [01:23:00.75] But anyway, I took care of-- I think we had 10-- 219 was the ward. I think I had 14 patients on the ward. And 221 was the room. That was like a semi-private room. I took care of those patients.
  • [01:23:21.66] And on the main floor, when the white nurses went to lunch, I relieved them on their floor. That's when I worked with mainly white patients.
  • [01:23:36.42] So one incident that happened, I took care of Dr. Morgan's wife, who had had a baby. And she had complications. She was in the hospital.
  • [01:23:55.61] And this day, she wanted something for pain. I gave her something for pain. And we started conversation. And she liked me. So when the nurses came back from lunch, I went back to my ward.
  • [01:24:14.87] And the next day, or later on-- yeah, the next day, she asked for me. And she said that I gave her the best shot she'd ever had, because it didn't hurt her. And I told her, when I relieved again, that I didn't work on the floor. And she told her husband, Dr. Morgan. He was one of the staff doctors.
  • [01:24:42.17] And he said, what did you do to my wife? He said, you impressed her. I said, what do you mean? He said, she talked about you all that evening when I came to visit her.
  • [01:25:00.35] I said, all I did was give her a pain shot. He said, well. I'm going to recommend that you work on the floor. So he did. So that's how I started working both units.
  • [01:25:19.28] My experience there was very colorful. Sometimes you had-- I had a split shift. I would work 7:00 in the morning until 11:30, leave the hospital, go home for two hours and come back in the evening. I had a split shift, not a regular straight shift, a split shift. And I'd work until 7 o'clock.
  • [01:25:52.94] Myself and another practical nurse. We took care of, I think 14 patients. We did everything for them. All the treatments, all the medications.
  • [01:26:04.31] And I got a lot of experience there. I worked there until 19-- let's see. That was, I went to work [INAUDIBLE] '46. I worked there until '50.
  • [01:26:24.91] My classmate was working here at the [INAUDIBLE] called [? Haines ?] Convalescent Home. And she was leaving for New York for another job. And he asked her if she knew a nurse that could work for him. And she told him yes.
  • [01:26:48.52] And she called me. I told my parents. I was trying to leave for New York and Chicago a long time. But my parents wouldn't let me, because when you are supervised by parents, and then you have nine brothers, it's kind of hard to get away from home.
  • [01:27:09.01] So anyway, Dr. Thomas called my parents and assured them that I would be living on the quarters, where the hospital was, be under a supervised environment. So that's the only way I got here. So I came here May 2, 1950.
  • [01:27:36.13] My mother came May-- I think I was here a week. My mother came and she brought me my first linen, my first set of dishes. All the kids that went away to college had a quilt. She quilted. She brought me a homemade quilt. And stayed with me for a week, just to see that the promise that he made to her, he would keep.
  • [01:28:11.86] So I worked there from 1950 until '55. In the meantime, he sent a nurse and I, gave us a vacation in Bermuda for two weeks. That was one of the best vacations I ever had.
  • [01:28:36.77] They had pink beaches with pink sand, white sand. The amazing thing about Bermuda that most people didn't know, all their food was imported. They didn't grow anything. Everything was imported. Brought in, all the food, the ice.
  • [01:29:00.04] But as far as a beautiful country, beautiful. People were nice. But they were really poor. Some were really poor.
  • [01:29:09.22] And they were very hospitable. And they liked to tell you about the island, and some of their-- you know, about their life.
  • [01:29:25.20] So 19-- so, that was 1955. 1955, I went to Parkside Hospital here in Michigan to work. I lived at Illinois and Brush. It was right across the street from [? Grace ?] Hospital.
  • [01:29:52.28] And they asked me to be the director of nursing there. And I was there until '63. I got married in '61. I got married while I was there.
  • [01:30:16.49] And after that, I went to Harper. '63, June. And I retired from there, 1985.
  • [01:30:33.69] And I've been doing volunteer work, and working in [? Healtharamas ?] and visiting nursing homes. And still, I belong to [? Chi Delta Phi, ?] which is a professional nurse's sorority.
  • [01:30:54.43] And we hold clinics in churches. We take blood pressure. And we try to educate people in health issues. Especially hypertension is one of the worst killers in the black race. So we try to, especially in men.
  • [01:31:23.56] Men don't want to go to the hospital. They don't want to see the doctor. And when they find out that they have something, it's either has progressed so that if they're treated, there can't be anything done about it, or they have a lot of complications.
  • [01:31:53.64] SPEAKER 5: I'd like to tell me a little bit about your married life. First, tell me about your spouse.
  • [01:31:59.04] ANNA NOBLE: My what?
  • [01:31:59.51] SPEAKER 5: My spouse.
  • [01:32:00.84] ANNA NOBLE: My husband. My husband was named Mitchell Noble. And he wasn't born and raised here. He was from Anderson, South Carolina.
  • [01:32:14.79] He was 13 years older than I. I met him through a friend of mine, whose cousin was dating his brother. We were introduced. And we seemed to hit it off fairly well.
  • [01:32:35.62] I thought he was too old for me, because he had [? mingled ?] gray hair. But he was handsome. I'll show you my wedding picture.
  • [01:32:49.62] But he treated me like a lady. He knew I didn't like candy. So he gave me flowers. He knew I loved roses. And on anniversaries and birthdays, I would get roses.
  • [01:33:16.89] First of all, we were married in '61, at [? Hartford ?] Avenue Baptist Church, Milford and Boulevard, by Reverend Hill. Reverend Hill.
  • [01:33:38.10] And we had to go to class, have a conference with him before we got married. And we were married in the church. We had the reception at the [? Ferry ?] Center on [? Ferry, near ?] Brush.
  • [01:33:58.05] I've got my wedding album. You can see. I had the reception there. My bridesmaids gave me a shower. And my hostess gave me a shower.
  • [01:34:15.91] I don't know whether you remember this club or not. It's called the [INAUDIBLE] Club on the west side. They gave me a shower there. It was a black club for the doctors and lawyers and professional people.
  • [01:34:36.15] And one of the hostesses gave me a shower at her home. One of the women who was the aide at the hospital cooked my rehearsal dinner for me, Miss Thurston.
  • [01:34:55.38] I sent out 250 invitations. When my two sisters were bridesmaids, my cousin was a maid of honor.
  • [01:35:14.74] My family came to Detroit and lived at the-- my [INAUDIBLE]. Because when we found out we were going to get married, my husband said that you need a larger place, because you have a large family. And he wanted them to stay at my home.
  • [01:35:39.67] So he got the flat for me, and painted it and everything. We did not live together, because that was taboo in my family.
  • [01:35:58.45] He taught me how to drive. When we went to apply for the license, and they knew we were engaged, the police told him, make sure you teach your fiancee how to drive before you marry. Because it's going to be trouble if you're married and try to teach her. So he taught me how to drive.
  • [01:36:21.73] My driving lessons were Jefferson, Woodward. My weekend lesson was, I would drive to Pontiac.
  • [01:36:39.22] My parking lessons were, we'd stop at Sears. And I'd do the parallel parking, do my parking. I knew I was all right because he was watching me all the time. And when he started reading the paper when I was driving, I knew I was all right. So I took my test. And I passed the first time.
  • [01:37:05.61] We had traveled a lot together. We went on cruises. We went on the islands. We went to see our families.
  • [01:37:19.74] And his family was large. They had what they called like a family club. The Noble Family Club. And they were organized. They had president, secretary, treasurer.
  • [01:37:34.47] We had fundraisers, like bus trips. We took a group to the Mardi Gras. Vegas, Chicago. And we went to Tennessee.
  • [01:38:05.06] And everybody paid the fee. You know, that was our fundraiser. Every Christmas, they had a family get-together at a family home. It was potluck. They all were excellent cooks, even the men.
  • [01:38:24.66] For a family gathering during the summer, a picnic at Rouge Park. We supplied all the food. And some of the refreshments. And if you wanted something special to drink, you brought it.
  • [01:38:43.31] The family was well-liked and well-known. And we had-- I know over 200 people would come to our picnics. So we had to cook a lot of food.
  • [01:39:00.59] Each family was responsible for so much. Like so many ribs, and other dishes. We had a good time.
  • [01:39:15.21] We got hijacked in '71, went to Cuba from [? Metro. ?] I've shown. They've taken pictures before. I brought the pictures. I brought the pictures. They've taken pictures of that.
  • [01:39:38.51] And we were there from, what, 1:30 in the afternoon to about 9:30 that night. We were, first we were going to Barbados. We were going on our Caribbean vacation. And this was in October.
  • [01:39:53.84] So you were in winter clothes. So we were supposed to be stopping in Florida to change clothes at 4:30. Because we were supposed to leave at 9:45. We left at 9:30.
  • [01:40:11.77] And that was before they had the metal detectors. They had like a sky marshal to check you in. So it was no seat assignment. Was the first ones, they got the best seat.
  • [01:40:27.53] And I never liked to sit over the wing. So I was one of the 39 that was first on the plane, with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who had never flown. First time flying. And both of them had bad hearts.
  • [01:40:46.85] So that was really something, when we didn't know we were hijacked until we were well up in the air, flying. We flew over Florida. We saw that. And shortly after that, the hijacker said-- no.
  • [01:41:03.89] First thing we heard was, remain in your seats and stay calm. And I didn't know. You know, you're all excited about a vacation. It didn't hit you that anything was wrong.
  • [01:41:18.89] And then when he said, after he passed over Florida, he said in 15 minutes we'll be landing in Havana. I knew it was hijacked. 39 of us were on the plane and 143 were left at the airport.
  • [01:41:34.37] We got back. They fed us. And I wanted a rum and Coke to calm my nerves when we went to eat.
  • [01:41:47.33] We got back in Florida at about 9:30. And Eastern Airlines was our primary airline. They had to give us vouchers to get sleepwear and food.
  • [01:42:10.79] And we left the next day. We didn't get our luggage until-- this was Saturday. We didn't get our luggage until Sunday. And we were with a group, about 18 of us. And the group thought we had canceled.
  • [01:42:24.98] And when we met up with them Monday, and they found out what happened, we were like celebrities the rest of the trip. The rest of the 10 days. We were like celebrities. Every island we went to, they would tell that we had gotten hijacked. So.
  • [01:42:49.96] My husband passed in '74. We were married in '61. He passed in '74. I knew he had silicosis when I married him.
  • [01:43:05.53] We found out. He had a virus. I came home from work and his eyes were red and he had a temperature of 102. I said, you have to go see Dr. Henderson. AB Henderson was our medical doctor.
  • [01:43:23.14] And Dr. Henderson saw him, and he called me back and he told me that, Anna, I want you to have Mitch see a bronchial specialist for lungs.
  • [01:43:47.37] So he was admitted to the hospital. And they did what they call a bronchial [? washing. ?] And bronchoscopy. That's like a scope of the lungs.
  • [01:43:59.95] But they didn't find anything there. But when they were putting him back to bed, there's a [? node ?] in your neck. It's called the scalene node. It was swollen. And that's where the cancer had metastasized to.
  • [01:44:13.90] He was diagnosed with cancer in June. And he expired in October. It had gone to the bone and to the brain. So he passed in '74, a week before our 13th anniversary. So I've been a widow for 34 years.
  • [01:44:47.58] No children. But he had a son. And his son was married, and he had a stepson. He was married to his mother. They had 12 children.
  • [01:45:03.96] And one of the girls has a franchise to two McDonald's. One is near the Harper Hospital on Woodward. Yeah. And the other one is in [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:45:27.07] The daughter is getting one. Her daughter is old enough to have one. She's getting one. She's going through-- you have to go through their school system.
  • [01:45:40.51] So I have a picture. I have a picture of them.
  • [01:45:46.52] SPEAKER 5: Where and when did you and your spouse meet?
  • [01:45:52.42] ANNA NOBLE: I told-- you know, we met at a friend's house. Yeah. In '59, her name was [? Francis Cabot. ?] We worked together. And I had told you that her cousin was dating his brother. So [INAUDIBLE] about me. That's where we met.
  • [01:46:19.01] SPEAKER 5: What was it like when you were dating?
  • [01:46:21.13] ANNA NOBLE: Hm?
  • [01:46:22.05] SPEAKER 5: What was it like when you were dating?
  • [01:46:25.23] ANNA NOBLE: What was it like? Oh, we went to the movies. My husband didn't dance that much. But he knew I loved to dance. We'd go to dances. He liked to play cards, and I didn't.
  • [01:46:41.88] He's the one who taught me how to play poker and [INAUDIBLE]. Because I didn't know anything about it. I always held good hands. I had aces and kings, and he would always tell me to follow his lead, whatever he'd play, you know. Play the largest card that I had.
  • [01:47:11.52] And he loved to fish. He loved to fish. I didn't fish. But I would fix the lunch. He would bring back-- he liked smelt dipping. You know what smelt dipping is? He would bring back garbage. Bring back enough to put in garbage pails, supply the whole neighborhood.
  • [01:47:33.00] He loved to fish. And he did hunt. That was before I married him.
  • [01:47:41.40] I was his, believe it or not, his fourth wife. And he told my mother that he wished he had met me a long time ago. We had a lot of fun together. He was a jokester. He was comical.
  • [01:48:05.01] First of all, when we got ready to get married, he asked me if I wanted him to dye his hair. And I told him, no. It was beautiful. You'll see.
  • [01:48:16.87] He had four brothers. They all were close. And when we would go on trips, they would have a social drink, they would start singing. They would harmonize, like a quartet.
  • [01:48:36.10] We used to have a lot of fun. He loved my father. He loved my family. My mother never called him our son-in-law. She called him her son.
  • [01:48:47.37] When she would come to visit me, come to visit us, he would take her all the places that he'd go fishing and around the city, and show her. And that's why I'm close to them today.
  • [01:49:02.25] He has a nephew that's terminal in Oak Point Nursing Home now. He's not going to get well. He has cancer of the lungs that has metastasized. He was a heavy smoker. So was my husband. He was a heavy smoker.
  • [01:49:22.27] So when you are friends to your in-laws that long, because I've been running with them, helping them clean the house out, you know, and whatnot.
  • [01:49:35.06] All of his brothers died of cancer except one. So it runs in the family.
  • [01:49:43.41] I only have one kidney, myself. I had a kidney removed in 2004. Had a tumor. And they couldn't remove the tumor. They had to remove my kidney.
  • [01:49:57.02] I had a hip replacement in 2001. But I'm in good shape. I don't limp or anything. And I was in a car accident. I have a scar. I [? didn't have ?] a knee replacement.
  • [01:50:12.67] I don't have a kneecap. It crushed my kneecap. So it's called a patella, the professional name. But I don't limp. I don't suffer with arthritis. And for 88 years old, I think I'm in fairly good shape.
  • [01:50:38.19] SPEAKER 5: Tell me about your children and what life was like [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:50:41.03] ANNA NOBLE: I don't have any. I didn't have any children. I had a stepson, my husband's son, but he passed. Oh, about five or six years after my husband passed.
  • [01:51:15.29] SPEAKER 5: Are there any special days, events or family traditions you practice that's different from your childhood traditions?
  • [01:51:27.58] ANNA NOBLE: Family traditions.
  • [01:51:30.50] SPEAKER 5: That you practice that's different from your childhood traditions.
  • [01:51:40.00] ANNA NOBLE: Well. Let's see. No. I go to church. We always went to Sunday school.
  • [01:51:55.96] I'm a mother of the church where I belong, the Corinthian Baptist Church, at 1725 [INAUDIBLE]. Reverend Dr. Joseph R Jordan is the Pastor.
  • [01:52:12.43] I've been a registered member there since last September. They made me one of the mothers of the church.
  • [01:52:29.44] I know we weren't allowed to drink. So I do have a cocktail every so often.
  • [01:52:48.18] Well, we always had family gatherings. We were a close-knit family. I do like to entertain. I love to entertain.
  • [01:53:08.86] When I was growing up, my job was, after I learned, my mother taught me how to cook. I had to make the biscuits and the cornbread for supper. That was my job.
  • [01:53:26.62] And we had chores. Well, a lot of things they didn't have when I was coming up, like the drive-in movies. And I knew nothing about the [? casinos. ?]
  • [01:54:01.08] During my school years, we went to concerts. We went to symphonies. We went to visit science centers. We went to like [INAUDIBLE] Planetarium. It's like the science building. We went to a Hershey factory. This was like a school outing. [INAUDIBLE] traditions.
  • [01:54:32.62] No. No, [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:54:37.63] SPEAKER 5: Please describe the popular music of your adult years.
  • [01:54:40.59] ANNA NOBLE: The what?
  • [01:54:41.09] SPEAKER 5: The popular music of your adult years.
  • [01:54:43.03] ANNA NOBLE: Popular music. I always liked Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra.
  • [01:54:57.64] I'm trying to think of the singer. Oh. He was from Pittsburgh, [? Cannonsberg. ?] I can't remember him. I liked him because he used to come to the movies in Pittsburgh. It escapes me.
  • [01:55:37.74] And in school, we learned how to jitterbug on Nat King Cole, "Straighten Up and Fly Right." And I liked all Duke Ellington, Count Basie. And I liked Louie Jordan. He played the blues. I liked Neil Diamond. And Billy Joel. I liked a variety of music.
  • [01:56:19.62] SPEAKER 5: Did the music have any popular dances associated with them?
  • [01:56:23.63] ANNA NOBLE: Popular dances? Well, they had the jitterbug and the twist. And right now they have, what, line dancing and the hustle. I do that.
  • [01:56:50.23] I like the ballroom. As I told you before, I love to dance. I learned how to do the polka. The waltz. We had to learn that in school. That was part of our activity for gymnastics.
  • [01:57:21.60] We had gym, one week. We had dancing the next week.
  • [01:57:31.53] SPEAKER 5: What were the popular clothing or hairstyles of this time?
  • [01:57:36.84] ANNA NOBLE: Popular clothing. Well, we were wearing our dresses longer. I liked Bermuda shorts. I liked high heels, because I was always so short. I was only 5'1". I liked high heels. I liked the wedges. And loafers.
  • [01:58:11.33] And [INAUDIBLE]. I never liked those shoes, because they always interfered with-- they irritated me. I could never wear those. I could wear sandals, but not the ones that go through your toes. Because my toes were sensitive.
  • [01:58:30.59] Hairstyle-- believe it or not, I wore braids in high school. But on Fridays, my mother French-braided my hair. That was when you could wear your better clothes on Friday. Friday we got dressed up for school. I'd have my hair French-braided, and a nice dress on.
  • [01:59:06.53] I never wore a lot of makeup. And I occasionally painted my nails. I always loved pampering myself. Bubble bath. [INAUDIBLE]. Milk, powdered milk, and my bath oil. [? Lay and ?] pamper myself, lay in a tub for about an hour, relax. Whatnot.
  • [01:59:42.11] My favorite perfume was the Secret of Venus. But they don't make it. And it was an oil and a spray. And if you put the oil in your bath water, you'd smell good all day, all day. Take a bath in that. And it was not an overpowering aroma. It was just nice.
  • [02:00:16.34] But now, I like Estee Lauder's Estee. And [? white linen. ?] Since I can't find my Secret of Venus.
  • [02:00:35.39] I'd wear hats occasionally. But always, we had to wear hats to church.
  • [02:00:47.87] I've always been a clotheshorse. I like stylish clothes. And shoes.
  • [02:01:01.72] SPEAKER 5: Can you describe any other fads or styles from this era?
  • [02:01:07.11] ANNA NOBLE: Styles and fads. Well, I wore-- styles and fads.
  • [02:01:31.25] I never liked cornrows. But I had perms. I got my hair permed. And apparently, I got an infection, because I had to have my hair cut off. I [INAUDIBLE] shampoo my hair once a week with medicated shampoo and medicated ointment.
  • [02:01:55.71] [INAUDIBLE]. I liked-- leather jackets. I liked suits. As far as extreme fads, I liked simple, elegant clothes.
  • [02:02:35.18] That was my style. Simple but elegant. I don't like a lot of fluffs and frills. I've always been complimented on what I wore. Mostly by the men, not the women.
  • [02:03:01.35] SPEAKER 5: Were there any slang terms, phrases or words used that aren't in common use today?
  • [02:03:07.92] ANNA NOBLE: Slang. I'm trying to remember. The only really slang word that we used to use all the time, you've got it. That would mean that if I said something and you caught on to it, you know, you caught on. And I would say, you got it.
  • [02:03:37.66] SPEAKER 5: Thinking back on your working or adult life, what important social or historical events were taking place at the time? And how did it personally affect you or your family?
  • [02:03:53.07] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see. I don't remember the Depression. Because the Depression was '29, [INAUDIBLE]. And I was but seven years old.
  • [02:04:10.36] I remember the declaration of World War Two. That was in 1941. Because I was going to school during that time.
  • [02:04:31.68] And I remember the WPA. And what else.
  • [02:04:53.34] SPEAKER 6: What was the WPA?
  • [02:04:54.88] ANNA NOBLE: It was a work program for the unemployed and the poor that Roosevelt put out. You [? remember? ?] He passed that, for the WPA. And I can't remember what it stood for. But I remember, WPA.
  • [02:05:18.09] When the civil rights, you know, all the civil rights in 1963. Martin Luther King, Angela Davis. I remember her. I remember the-- what was [? the brothers here. ?]
  • [02:05:46.71] They were arrested. It was during the Civil Rights Movement. I remember the March on Washington with Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King.
  • [02:06:08.99] I remember the voter registration in the south. They were trying to get us the right to vote.
  • [02:06:26.80] SPEAKER 5: That completes the section [INAUDIBLE] about your working years, thank you.
  • [02:06:33.70] This set of questions covers [INAUDIBLE] of your life, from the time you entered the labor force and started your family, into the present time. What was your main field of--
  • [02:06:47.53] SPEAKER 6: We did a lot of this.
  • [02:06:48.99] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah, this seems like this is repeating. We were supposed to be ending up today.
  • [02:06:57.05] SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:06:58.01] SPEAKER 6: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:07:00.89] ANNA NOBLE: Because it seems like I'm just beginning. Oh, dear.
  • [02:07:20.31] SPEAKER 6: Whenever you're ready, you can tell us a little bit about it.
  • [02:07:24.25] ANNA NOBLE: Oh, this is one of the wedding pictures that was taken at our wedding. The photographer wanted us to [INAUDIBLE] like we were just entering the room, and take the picture.
  • [02:07:41.55] SPEAKER 6: Great. Thank you.
  • [02:07:46.05] ANNA NOBLE: I was weighing 103 then.
  • [02:07:49.38] SPEAKER 6: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:07:50.86] ANNA NOBLE: I weigh 130 now.
  • [02:07:54.21] SPEAKER 6: One of our young men today asked one of the girls how much she weighs. And I told him, all women weigh 100 pounds. All women are 21 years old. And the diamond on their hand is always real.
  • [02:08:07.55] ANNA NOBLE: Hi.
  • [02:08:11.16] SPEAKER 7: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:08:13.61] ANNA NOBLE: Hi. Yeah.
  • [02:08:15.38] SPEAKER 6: So, [? Celia, ?] you would have a little bit better idea. I think we're, give or take, going through [INAUDIBLE]. You did such a great job as our camera and sound person yesterday, I'm going to put you back on headphones.
  • [02:08:33.44] SPEAKER 7: [INAUDIBLE]. I'm going to get a shot going this way.
  • [02:08:39.98] ANNA NOBLE: This is what some of our family Christmas celebrations looked like with the food. This was in my basement. This is family.
  • [02:08:58.66] SPEAKER 7: Are you recording it?
  • [02:09:00.00] SPEAKER 6: Just a little bit.
  • [02:09:02.16] SPEAKER 7: [INAUDIBLE] . Do you mind if I get a picture with your crew?
  • [02:09:07.78] ANNA NOBLE: No. The camera. Come on. Yeah.
  • [02:09:12.56] [INTERPOSING VOICES]
  • [02:09:13.03] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah.
  • [02:09:15.97] SPEAKER 7: I'm not in this [INAUDIBLE]. All right. While you guys set up, [INAUDIBLE] the headphones, the camera, and [? I'll shoot you from this side. ?]
  • [02:09:23.93] ANNA NOBLE: Yeah.
  • [02:09:28.82] SPEAKER 6: Get you back into the frame. [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:09:39.59] SPEAKER 7: Somebody get on the headphones, and somebody work the camera.
  • [02:09:42.60] SPEAKER 6: We're still recording. That's you. [INAUDIBLE], can you monitor the room for a minute for me?
  • [02:09:54.38] SPEAKER 7: Yeah, I'm just going to get a picture here and then I'm going to go.
  • [02:09:56.78] SPEAKER 6: All right.
  • [02:09:58.32] SPEAKER 7: I'm going to go sit over there. OK. You guys can start whenever.
  • [02:10:06.87] SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE].
  • [02:10:10.70] Rethinking your life after retirement, when your kids left home, up until the present day, what important social and historical events were taking place? And how did they personally affect [INAUDIBLE]?
  • [02:10:31.05] Thinking back [INAUDIBLE] what are you most proud of?
  • [02:10:35.16] ANNA NOBLE: Thinking about what?
  • [02:10:36.05] SPEAKER 5: Thinking back on your entire life, what are you most proud of?
  • [02:10:48.32] ANNA NOBLE: One of the things that really, I'm proud of, having a mother and father who loved us, cared about us, tried to direct us in the best manner they knew how. Taught us to respect and to be respected. And treat your fellow man as you would like to be treated.
  • [02:11:25.53] Whatever you undertake, do the best that you can. Whether it be a professional job, a garbage carrier. Be the best that you can. Always.
  • [02:11:48.15] And always believe that you have someone in your corner with the man upstairs. We went to Sunday school. We were taught that anything's possible. Anything, if you had the faith.
  • [02:12:12.04] And I listened to Reverend Price on TV. He says, walk by faith and not by sight. And if you have it, you don't have anything else to worry about.
  • [02:12:29.68] Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do. Keep your eye on the goal. And you'll get there.
  • [02:12:39.83] SPEAKER 5: OK. Pause for a minute please.
  • [02:12:44.02] What would you say has changed most from the time you were my age to now?
  • [02:12:55.29] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see now. There is less prejudice now. Although we still have a lot of racism. There's a lot more opportunities for the African-American person.
  • [02:13:18.00] I think we have learned that education is a key to a lot of our problems. If you are uneducated and you don't know you're uneducated, that's bad.
  • [02:13:42.98] Our men need to realize that their responsibility is far greater than a little circle. It's big. It's global now.
  • [02:14:01.91] And you all are our future generation. We will be depending on you to carry on our name, our tradition, our families, our history. This is history.
  • [02:14:17.60] And I'm so proud that I am here, and lived to see a black president. I never thought it would happen. I wish my mother and father would be here to see this. That's a historical event that is beyond your imagination.
  • [02:14:45.27] And I thank God every day that he has his arms wrapped around Obama. He has proved that he is intelligent, he is human, he cares about the human race, not just black, not just white, the human race. And you may not always agree with what he does, but he seems to have the common working person in his plan, or in his thoughts all times.
  • [02:15:36.16] And when I was coming up, you were isolated. You couldn't go to certain colleges. I had to leave Pittsburgh to go to nursing school. Now you can get in any college if you have the money, or if you have a scholarship. That is a lot of change.
  • [02:15:59.07] But there's still a whole lot of changes to be made. And we are not going to solve all the problems, because there are some people who are not going to change. They don't like us. They don't even know why they don't like us. And they're going to go to their grave not liking us.
  • [02:16:21.51] So what you try to do, you try to be a lady and a gentleman. And treat people like you want to be treated. And don't be so quick to judge.
  • [02:16:34.71] I know we all have different personalities. Respect each other. You don't have to agree with everything I say. But don't hate me. Because that's my privilege, to have my own opinion. Just respect me. You know, you don't have to like me. Just respect me.
  • [02:17:01.46] SPEAKER 5: Is there anything you would like to add that I haven't asked you about?
  • [02:17:08.79] ANNA NOBLE: Let's see. I was telling you guys yesterday that opportunities are few and far between. Whatever you do, try to get an education.
  • [02:17:34.53] There's a lot of elements out here that influence you. Try to make friends, or accompany yourself with people that can help you, educate you. Now, if they don't have anything to bring to the table, let them alone. Because they don't want you to get anywhere.
  • [02:18:05.44] And be aware of the young men who [INAUDIBLE] they pick you out. Have I told you? They pick you out, [INAUDIBLE] low self-esteem, broken homes. No family background.
  • [02:18:31.39] They pick you out because you're already distressed. And mixed up. So they can just [? whittle ?] you away, [? while ?] I love you. That is just a word. You have to show affection. And be aware that you are in control of your life.
  • [02:19:02.56] You don't need anybody to [? stroke ?] you, or tell you what you are. Be aware of who you are.
  • [02:19:12.43] And just try to be a young lady, you know? You have to command respect to get respect. Like these fellas sit at the table with their hats on, and you're having dinner. What respect is that?
  • [02:19:30.13] They don't pull out your chair. They don't open doors for you. They don't open the car door for you. You have to get in the car yourself.
  • [02:19:39.45] But sometimes you have to-- sometime you can teach. And don't think you marry someone to change them. Forget about that.
  • [02:19:50.66] OK? Don't think after you get married, you're going to change [? them. ?] If they were doing what they were doing before you were married, they won't change. It might get better, it might get worse. But just be aware of that.
  • [02:20:10.74] Just principles. One thing that does not change, manners and morals. And I am so proud. I don't know what this is going to lead to, that I had an opportunity to express some of my views and talk about some of my life.
  • [02:20:36.33] Because we don't know that much about our family lives. We don't know. And most of the young folks don't want to know about the history about [? Sojourner Truth. ?] They're the ones who helped get us where we are, helped us get the things that we're getting now.
  • [02:21:00.48] They fought. They died. They were abused to get these things for us. And I thank my God. I really thank my God for them. Somebody was thinking of us. And we weren't even thinking of ourselves.
  • [02:21:25.37] SPEAKER 5: Thank you. That concludes this session of questions.
  • [02:21:28.09] ANNA NOBLE: OK.